New York Life 401K Review 2020

New York Life 401K review, promotion offer, rating, fees and commissions. Is New York Life 401K good and safe way to invest?

New York Life 401k

One thing our predecessors consistently made apparent, and of course conveniently neglected by the younger generation was and still is: ‘a dollar saved is a dollar earned’. One does not need live miserly, but putting a few dollars away every month on a regular basis is very sound advice. If one sets it up to be executed automatically, they will not even miss those few dollars that are safely stashed away until they are ready for retirement and some peace and quiet.

But what happens to one’s employer sponsored 401k assets when they decide to leave the company, either voluntarily or due to other unforeseen circumstances (ex. a buyout)? New York Life offers a variety of retirement plans, including a 401k plan. Their 401k plan offers a myriad of investment options, and the most relevant ones are detailed below.

New York Life Options

1. Stay with the ex-employer’s retirement plan.

This will depend on how the ex-employer manages their retirement funds.

If the employee is over the age of 62, the company may insist that he or she withdraws their assets to decrease their administration fees. If not, the employee can still stay with the same plan and accumulate tax-deferred gains until they are ready to roll over to another plan or a new employer.

In both cases though, New York Life provides the employee with the choice of picking a different investment strategy without fearing a tax penalty or service fees related to their plans.

2. Transfer funds to a new employer's retirement plan.

If a client wants to transfer their retirement savings to their current employer, this can be done without paying the 20% withholding fee. No income taxes will be charged as long as the new plan meets the requirements of a retirement fund.

3. Roll over to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account).

This would be the easiest and most logical way to roll over one’s 401k. By doing this, one avoids the mandatory IRS penalty tax (10%), mandatory state and federal withholding tax (20%-30%), and any administration fees.

Additionally, an IRA is tax-deferred and any dividends or gains earned are compounded. What this simply means is, earnings on earnings are tax-deferred too. Had the individual placed that amount in an identical savings account, they would have to pay taxes on those earnings every year.

4. Take a taxable distribution.

This option is the least desirable because the account holder will end up paying considerable penalties, up to 50%, and unless their portfolio has had a more than stellar performance over the years, they would still be in the red. But one does have that option if an emergency arises.


The great part about New York Life is that they set up a new customer with the safest investment strategies available on the market. One can always change it at a later date to suit their own personal preferences.

One can pick based on their comfort factors, i.e. value, growth, retirement date, risk factors, etc. This is very helpful for persons who enjoy the safety afforded by a savings account but would still like to see a fairly quantifiable return on investment. A great savings account may fetch one around 3% to 5% ROI, but will fail to take advantage of changing trends in the financial markets.

Ease Of Use

Here is an inside look at what the customer can expect once they have set up a 401k with New York Life and has registered themselves for online access.

This is the main dashboard and it is mostly self-explanatory. Easy to navigate with a very simple layout where one can control the amount of contributions per pay check, the type of investments they want to diversify in, select their level of comfort, retirement goals, and learn about current market trends.

New York Life 401K Plan

The learning tools they offer are comprehensive and practical. As one navigates through the website, a mini dashboard shows the user up-to-date account statistics including what the account holder can expect in retirement earnings per month/year. One needs to remember that these are only projected earnings, but on the whole they give a very fair approximation.

New York Life Retirement Plan

There is also the MyLifeNow app available for their customers (Android and iOS), though it might be overkill for an average 401k account holder. It is highly unlikely that one would want to keep track of such holdings 24/7. But a mobile platform is a good option to have when one does not have easy access to a desktop or laptop.

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Customer service is a non issue since most transactions can be done online. But if one feels the need to visit a physical location or talk to an agent face to face, New York Life is headquartered in, evidently, New York City and claims to be in operation in all 50 states with over 12,000 agents and over 120 offices in their dossier.

They only send out emails once a quarter, unless one has set up notifications. A client can check all their account related messages on the website’s messaging center. That way there is no unnecessary clutter in their personal inbox.

Service by phone is passable at best. It is an 800 number with more machine time than an actual person. Enough said. Fortunately, one does not require this option very often.

New York Life 401K Review Conclusion

Before investing, always remember that no matter how safe, any kind of investing is NOT insured by the FDIC and that includes 401k accounts. Second, tax-deferred does not mean tax-free. One will eventually end up paying taxes when the money is withdrawn, but with proper management tools this burden can be minimized. The main purpose of a 401k is to provide for retirement coupled with sound investment advice for which New York Life is a perfect candidate.


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