30% of workers in the US have withdrawn money from their 401k plan before retirement. That is the finding from a recent survey conducted by MetLife in an effort to learn more about employee benefits.

That number should shock us all, considering the steep penalties that exist to keep people from taking money out of their retirement accounts early. But it is another sign of how difficult things are for a lot of people in today’s economic climate. Without a rainy day fund to cover expenses in case of an emergency, too many workers have no alternative.

And what that means is that when these same people do finally get to retire, they won’t have nearly enough money left in their accounts. It’s a problem without a clear solution, but should serve as a warning to policy makers and workers alike. To learn more about this disturbing finding, read this full article from Quartz.

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