Here's a screenshot from the recent transaction history (this December) from the 401k from an employer that I haven't been employed by for many years. The index fund in question pays out a dividend and I see a 100% "safe harbor match" every single time. Is this actually a 401k match from the employer or some sort of glitch?

mystery safe harbor match

Elsewhere on the 401k provider's website it indicates that my 401k amount is fully vested and I don't see anything else to suggest that these dividends are otherwise not vested, they're fully owned by me.

  • My guess is this becomes important if some of your contributions are designated as roth contributions. In that case they, and they income derived from them are non taxable at withdrawal. While income that comes from the match is taxable at withdrawal. However given in your case your contributions seem to be non roth it is all taxable at withdrawal and doesn't really matter.
    – Vality
    Feb 25, 2021 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


Is this actually a 401k match from the employer or some sort of glitch?

Neither - it's identifying the source of the units that are paying dividends (note the the column header). Half of your 0.665 units of the FID 500 Index were provided via your PRE-TAX contributions, and the other half was provided by the SAFE HARBOR match.

If you are fully vested in your employer's matches, then all of those dividends are owned by you.

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