401(k) FAQ

Q: I want to add my own money through payroll deduction into the 401(k) Fund. How do I do this?

A: You can get a copy in the Downloads section of this website, from your employer or from the Trust Fund Office. On the form you will designate how much per hour you want your employer to take out from your paycheck. Once you have completed the form, make a copy for yourself and turn it in to your employer. If you are not able to deliver it personally or by US Mail, we suggest only putting the last four digits of your Social Security Number and just the Year part of your Birth Date. If you are unable to do these steps please stop by the Trust Fund Office and we can assist you.
Q: I am currently putting in $1.00 per hour into my 401(k) account, and would like to change it to $3.00 an hour. Can I do this?

A: You need to submit a new 401(k) Employee Contribution Worksheet to your employer with the new deduction rate. If you do not see the new rate take effect after two paychecks, please contact us. You can change your hourly employee contribution rate once a month.
Q: How much can I put into the 401(k) Fund?

A: For 2023, you can put up to $22,500. If you will be 50 years old and over in 2023, the maximum amount is $30,000. These amounts are the maximum limits for employee contributions only. Any employer contributions to your 401(k) are not included in your voluntary contributions limit.

Q: If I start my employee contributions in January, how much should I deduct from my paycheck to achieve my maximum contribution?

A: If you work 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, you should deduct $10.00 per hour from your paycheck. If you are age 50 or over, you would deduct $13.00 per hour to achieve the maximum allowable contribution amount by the end of the tax year.
Q: What happens if I go over the limit before the end of the year?

A: First of all, Empower and the Trust Fund Retirement Office monitor the deposits and the year-to-date totals. As you get close to the maximum, we will notify you and the employer to ensure that you do not exceed the maximum amount.
Q: Oh no! It's already December, and I have not put anything into my 401(k) Fund! Can I write a check from my checking account for an amount up to my limit?

A. No. The employee portion of the 401(k) Fund must come through your wages via payroll deduction because the contribution is tax deductible. If the money is already in your checking account, it is considered 'after-tax' money, therefore it cannot be deposited into your 401(k) Fund. January 2024 is the perfect time to begin your new payroll deductions.
Q: Can I put my Vacation & Holiday check into the 401(k) Fund?

A: No. The V&H pay is considered after-tax money, which means that taxes have already been paid. Therefore, this type of money cannot be deposited into the 401(k) Fund. Employee contributions must come directly from wages through payroll deduction.
Q: I'll be working for a new employer soon. Do I need to complete a new form?

A: If you want to continue your 401(k) contributions, yes, you have to complete a new form. You need to complete a new form each time you move to a new employer.
Q: Can I take this money out at any time? A: If you are under 55 years of age, you have to have no work hours from any signatory contractor for 12 consecutive months to take out your 401(k) monies. If you are retired between ages 55 - 64, you have to have no work hours for 6 consecutive months. If you are retired on or after age 65 and over, you have to have no work hours for 1 month. (Please refer to the Fund Summary Plan Description or Benefit Booklet for more details.)
Q: What if I am going through a hardship in my life, can I take the money out earlier?

A: The 401(k) hardship provision only applies to employee contributions that were deducted from your paychecks. They do not apply to any Employer Contributions made to your 401(k) account. And per IRS regulations, hardship withdrawals are only allowed for the following reasons:
  • Medical care expenses not covered by insurance carrier
  • Purchase of primary residence
  • College tuition fees
  • To prevent eviction from principal resident or to prevent foreclosure on a mortgage
  • Burial or funeral expenses
  • Expenses related to catastrophic events as described in IRC 165

You will need to provide the Trust Fund Office with proper legal documentation to support the hardship that applies to you.
Q: I am an apprentice that recently got indentured under the Carpenters Union. When will I start receiving 401(k) contributions from my employer?

A: You have to be at least a 45% apprentice and/or work 1,000 hours to receive a 401(k) contribution from your employer.
Q: When can I start putting in my own money through payroll deduction?

A: You have to be at least a 45% apprentice and/or work 1,000 hours to make employee contributions into the 401(k) Fund.
Q: Can I transfer my old retirement plans from prior employers, or my IRA into the Hawaii Carpenters 401(k) Fund?

A: Yes, as long as these Qualified retirement plans contain only pre-tax monies. There is no eligibility requirement for rollover contributions. You can do this at any time. Please contact the Trust Fund Office to coordinate the rollover process.
Q: Can I take my rollover money out of the 401(k) Fund at any time?

A: Yes. There is no waiting for the rollover portion of your 401(k) Fund. You can take it out at any time.
Q: How can I change the investments in my 401(k) Fund?

A: You can change your investments by going online at https://participant.empower-retirement.com/participant/#/login. To register for online access, go to https://participant.empower-retirement.com/participant/#/login and follow the instructions to create a UserID and Password. Or, you can make investment changes by calling Empower at their toll-free number at 1-855-756-4736.
Q: Help! I don't know which investments to pick! I need guidance.

A: The Empower website has several educational tools and calculators that can assist you with your investment choices. Or, you can opt to speak to a live Empower representative when you call the toll-free number.
Q: I want to talk to someone locally about my investments. Who should I call?

A: For general investment questions, you can call the Trust Fund Office at (808) 841-7575, or at (800) 634-8608, if you are calling from the neighbor islands. For a more in-depth investment advice for FREE, you may contact the following Trust Fund Financial Consultant:

Karen Yasukawa, CIMA
The Kikawa Group of Raymond James.
1001 Bishop St., Suite 2920
Honolulu, HI 96813-4068
Tel: 808-600-2900
Fax: 808-600-2864
Toll free: 844-599-3793
Email: karen.yasukawa@raymondjames.com

Q: Are there fees associated to making investment changes?

A: There are no transaction fees for moving your money from one investment vehicle to another.
Q: Are there any other fees charged to my 401(k) Fund?

A: There is a $60 annual administrative fee that is charged to your account at $15 per quarter. This amount pays for all legal, accounting, and administrative fees associated with maintaining the 401(k) Fund on a daily basis.
Q: I just recently received my quarterly 401(k) statement from Empower. My hours and contribution amounts do not match what I have on record. Why?

A: Please keep in mind that the contributions you see on your statements were deposited into your 401(k) account approximately four-six weeks after they have been deducted from your paycheck. For example: The contributions reflected on the June quarterly statement are for the work months of February, March, and April.
Q: Even after taking the timing issues into consideration, I still found discrepancies with my hours and contribution amounts. What should I do?

A: It is for this reason that we cannot emphasize enough the importance of keeping a good record of your work hours and pay stubs. Should you find any discrepancies, please forward your inquiry and copies of your pay stubs to the Trust Fund Office so that we may audit the contributions. If discrepancies are discovered, we will notify the employer accordingly and charge bill them for any missing contributions when necessary.
200 N. Vineyard Blvd, Bldg A, Suite 100
Honolulu,HI 96817
Telephone: (808) 841-7575
Fax: (808) 841-2900
Neighbor Islands: (800) 634-8608
© 2006 HBAI