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Chapter 3. How Safe Is Your 401(k) Money... > Keeping Track of Your Money - Pg. 32

How Safe Is Your 401(k) Money? 32 Answer:In most cases the company holds this money in what is called a STIF account. No, they don't give your money to some dead guy for safekeeping. STIF stands for short-term income fund . The STIF account is a holding tank, usually at a bank, used for money that is waiting to be invested. It's kind of like a money market account that pays a very small amount of interest, about 3 to 5 percent annually. For What It's Worth If you're a real worry wart, you're probably asking yourself, "What happens if myemployer goes belly-up (tech- nical term for 'bankrupt') before my money gets into the trust? Can anyone get at it?" While the answer is technically yes, the likelihood of someone getting your money during this period of time is very small. Let's say that your employer goes bankrupt between deducting your contribution and putting it into the trust. Because this money is still technically wages , it can revert back to you. Creditors of the company cannot attach your wages, only assets of the company. The next question you should ask is, "Who is the owner of the STIF account, the employer or the 401(k) plan?" If the answer is the employer, then your money is sill technically part of your employer's "general assets" and the interest earned on the money stays with the company. If the answer is the