In US, is 401K or other retirement plan usually mentioned in an offer letter? If there is no such information in an offer letter, does it mean the employer doesn't provide retirement plan to its employee?

After starting to work for a new employer, is the contribution to a retirement plan shown in paycheck letter or somewhere else? Where can I look up or set up contribution to a retirement plan?


If you didn't ask this during the interview process, your best bet is to call HR. Second, is to search on the company website to see if there's any information there.

If there's no 401(k), you can choose to deposit to an IRA, up to $5500 this year.

  • Thanks. I don't have much money right now. Is it a good idea to start contribution to 401k if my employer provides it or to my RothIRA? I would worry if I need to spend some money and I don't have enough from other sources, and there is penalty for withdrawing money from 401k, or RothIRA.
    – Tim
    Feb 19 '17 at 2:52
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    @Tim The typical sequence is 1) Contribute to 401k up to match amount, 2) pay off debt, 3) IRA (Roth vs. Traditional is a different discussion) until maxed, 4) 401k until maxed, 5) at this point post a new question. For a Roth IRA specifically, there is no penalty for withdrawing your contributions, but this is not so for any earnings (contributions will be the bulk of the amount anyway), so if you're worried about unforeseen circumstances, I think the Roth is a great idea since you can "undo" it if you really need to (try not to).
    – briantist
    Feb 19 '17 at 5:07
  • 1
    @briantist - exactly. With a bit of debate on priority of 2, as I'm still holding firm to save pretax vs paying off 2-3% debt aggressively. Feb 19 '17 at 12:51
  • 1
    @JoeTaxpayer great point, I didn't mean fixed-rate low-interest debt like a mortgage (I definitely agree with you there); when people are starting out and "don't have much money right now" the type of debt they tend to have is much higher interest so that's why I assumed that in a comment (I'd have expanded in an answer).
    – briantist
    Feb 19 '17 at 15:19

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