PG&E Employees and Retirees

PG&E 401K Company Matching (Free Money)

The most common mistake I see PG&E Employees make is that they miss out on their company match. Why? Because they max out their 401k before the last pay period of the year. This causes them to lose their company match for the periods they’re not making a contribution.

This fact is NOT widely known. If you max out your 401k ($17,500) before the last pay period of the year and you’re over 50 years old, you must also max your catch up contribution of $5,500 (the contribution allowed if you’re over 50 years old) as well. If you’re not 50 or older, and you’ve maxed out your 401k at $17,500, all you need to do is elect the spillover option and you receive your match from PG&E on the contribution of after tax dollars. However if you are over 50 years old, and max out your 401k at $17,500, you MUST also have your $5,500 catch up maxed out as well. If you don’t, your spillover contribution will not kick in and you will not get matched. I recently met someone who did not know this who is over 50 years old. He maxed out his 401k in September the last few years but didn’t have the catch up of $5,500 maxed. As a result he missed over $500 in matching funds for 3 months October – December for three years, that’s over $4,500 in matching funds he missed out on!

Fidelity PG&E 401K – The Most Overlooked Asset for a PG&E Employee

The average American’s 401K is their 2nd largest asset to their home. I find that holds true for many of my PG&E clients. Another fact? The 401k is the most ignored of all investment accounts. Since it’s such a large asset, it’s best to know your options.

  1. Do you know you can open a brokerage link account which gives you access to over 9000 mutual funds instead of just the 20 or so you have access in the regular 401k?

  2. Every client I have as rolled over their PG&E 401k at age 59.5 while their still working. The choices for money managers are endless, the fees can be cut by more than 50% in some cases, and employing a rotation strategy is available (see the rotation video in the middle of the homepage to get educated on rotation investing verses buy/hold(what you’re probably doing).

  3. You can rollover part of your PG&E 401k to an IRA with no penalty or tax implications at any age. There are a number of benefits to doing this, it all depends on what you’re after. Growth, safety, income, or something else.

  4. A $300,000 PG&E 401k account that earns 5% over 15 years grows to over $630,000 in that time. An account that earns only 4% more, or 9% instead of 5%, grows to over $1,150,000 during that time, it pays big time to utilize the best strategy.

  5. Need money? The best place to take a loan is from your PG&E 401k. You can take up to $50,000 with no taxes or penalties and you pay yourself back with interest.

Common PG&E Retirement Questions

Q: How can I know how much money I need for retirement? Is there a specific monthly amount I should be saving?
The amount of money you will need depends on: the retirement lifestyle you envision, your anticipated life expectancy, how much money you are able to contribute, and where and how you invest your money to make it grow.
Q: What is the biggest threat to my retirement?
This may sound silly, but the stock market can be the biggest threat if you have the wrong investment strategy. Persisting in the wrong strategy is the main reason many people have to go back to work after retiring. Most PG&E employees have invested in the “buy and hold” strategy, which “banks” on hope that history will repeat itself.
Q: What about health insurance?
This is a moving target and speaking to a professional who helps with these plans is a must, we can refer to someone in your area.