From personal contacts in the life insurance industry and the review online, I’ve heard that when you are legally allowed to get your money, Merrill Lynch delays payment incessantly. Wondering if you’ve heard the same with respect to how ML treats its 401k customers. Please advise.
We’ve actually heard pretty good things about Merrill Lynch as a 401(k) provider – especially their Merrill Edge group. It actually ranked as one of our best 401(k) companies here: https://fitsmallbusiness.com/best-401k-companies/. It’s too bad if some people have had a poor experience.
Unfortunately, a lot of investment firms bill accounts (including 401k plans) based on the amount of assets within the account. This is also used as the determining factor for a lot of reps’ compensation. Because a lot of financial firms (and reps) are paid based on the size of an account, this can create an incentive for reps to drag their feet on processing withdrawals or disbursements. However, these folks typically don’t stay on an account too long and frequently don’t last in the industry.
If you’re having problems getting a transaction processed, don’t be afraid to make your problems known to management. Most of the Merrill reps I know are good, upstanding advisors who just want to help their clients. Plus, most firms will do what they can to avoid written complaints that have to be reported to regulators.
Hope this helps,