Keep Your Hands Off My 401K

This morning, I sent an email to my Congressman.  The Financial Journeyman is not a political blog.  This blog is not right or left-leaning.  In general, I do not oppose or support any political party.  The only time that I will write about politics is when it is related to personal finance.

Over the past few weeks, there have been many news reports about Congress wanting to reduce the amount that an employee can contribute to their 401K from $18,500 (2018 limit) to only $2,400.  There have been other reports that suggest it might be capped at $9,000.  There are even other conflicting reports that state it will be increased to $20,000, but switched to a Roth based format.

The reason for these proposed limits on 401K contributions is due to the tax cuts and the tax overhaul that is being drafted by Congress with the 2017 Tax Bill.  To fund these tax cuts, Washington will need a boost in revenue to prevent the deficit from skyrocketing.  A quick solution is to drastically reduce the amount of money that 55 million American’s put into their tax-deferred retirement accounts.

As a member of the financial independence community, being able to save as much as possible in a 401K account is important for me to reach my retirement goals.  Since most American’s do not have a defined benefit pension, they are left with a defined contribution plan such as a 401K.  If these accounts are capped at $2,400, it will have a negative impact on how many people are saving for a secure retirement.  That can ultimately lead to more people having to rely on government assistance later in their life.

You might be thinking, there is nothing that I can do about this.  The next election will not be held for a year.  All I can do is sit back and hope for the best.

That is not entirely true.  Yes, the next election is not for twelve months, but you still have a voice.  You have a voice and there are many channels to express your concerns to your Congressman.

You might not realize this, but your Congressmen whats to hear from you.  They want to know what they can do to help the constituents they represent.  They do not want to wait until Election Day to learn if they are doing a good job or not.

If you feel as strongly as I do about reducing the limits on how much you can save in your 401K, reach out to your Congressman.  You can send them an email, a fax, or a written letter.  Below is the email that I wrote and sent to my Congressman Tom Marino:

Sample Email

Subject: Tax Cuts & Reducing the Contribution Limit on 401K Plans

Dear Congressman Marino,

As one of your constituents, I am writing you this email to voice my concern over the proposed reduction in contribution’s that people will be able to make to their 401K retirement accounts.

Since most employees do not have access to a defined benefit plan, making contributions to their 401K is their primary source for retirement savings.

While tax cuts are important, they are not more important than middle-class Americans having access to an adequate retirement savings plan.

Without having enough money saved for retirement, people will be forced to demand more out of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

I strongly suggest that you vote “No” when it comes to reducing how much your constituents can save to secure their financial future.

Based on your history of being a fiscal conservative, I know that I can count on you to not jeopardize the defined contributions retirement system that most of your constituents are relying on to support themselves when they retire.

Thank you,

My Name

My Contact Information

Keep it Simple

The email that I wrote was short and to the point.  Contrary to popular belief, these are extremely busy people and are always being pulled in many different directions.  I feel that there is a better chance of having your email or letter read if it is not full of fluff.

In this email, I stated my concern, why he should be concerned, and what he can do about it.  Be positive, show support, and be respectful.  Do not be condescending or threatening in any way.

Who to send it to

It is important that you send your letter to the correct legislator.  To find out who your Congressman is, go to  Other than being able to identify who your Congressman is, you will be able to find their email, address, phone number, and fax.  You can call their office, but I suggest a written communication.  That way you can be sure to not come off as being subversive.


Now is the time for you to communicate your concerns to your Congressman.  Remember, even if you did not vote for them, they work for you.  If your goal is to reach financial independence and retire early, voice your concerns over these proposed changes that could prevent you from reaching your financial goals.

I am challenging you to become an advocate for your financial future.  Please take 10-15 minutes of your time and send an email to your Congressman.  If you don’t communicate this message to them, how will they know that it is such an important issue?

14 thoughts on “Keep Your Hands Off My 401K

  1. Cee Elless

    Excellent idea! Folks out there, *please* call, email, or send a postcard to your representatives in Congress. If nothing else, do it for us FIRE chasers in Washington, DC who don’t have a representative in Congress. We thank you!

  2. J Savvy

    Agree! It only takes a few minutes to reach out to your elected officials. It’s good to be involved on all matters you care about, even beyond financial ones. Thanks to social media, we can even get their attention in 140 or less characters.

    In other news… Tax Plan was released today, and it appears that the 401k deductions are safe.

  3. BAMFmoney

    I recently wrote about that $2400 limit and crunched the numbers. It would be horrible for anyone trying to retire. I didn’t even take into account fees. Thankfully as of today, the normal limits have not been cut, but it’s a matter of time before the government will seriously visit the idea. I feel sorry for any future generations these cuts would happen to.

    I feel like such an idea is a backhanded way of trying to increase dependence on social security and increase taxes to that program.

  4. Carrie Morris

    Thank you for writing about this matter. I took your simple, to the point letter and just emailed my Congressman. Such an important issue and we need to make our voices heard. Thank you again for your post!

  5. SMM

    This is scary. We have to fund our retirement ourselves and they don’t even want us to do that?! It can be more taxes for people since 401k is a tax-deferred vehicle. I hope this does not come to fruition.


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