Redirected from Enron/Pension fund losses
Florida state board of administration
Enron employees also lost pension money as a result of Enron's bankruptcy. Enron's 401(k) plan had employer contributions. Enron's plan required these contributions to be held in Enron stock. Employees could not sell the shares until age 50, even if they left the company. Some employees were with Enron for 10-20 years, and had all their employer matching contributions locked into Enron stock. Even though Enron wasn't 20 years old, Enron had bought out other companies with similar plans, and the stock in these plans were converted to Enron stock after the buyout.
Note that federal law does not require companies to make their matching contributions in company stock, but it does allow them to do so. As a result, Enron's employees couldn't properly diversify their portfolios. There has been some talk of reforming this rule, but no concrete legislation has passed. A rule of thumb is that no more than 5%-10% of your retirement savings should be in one stock.
Enron's 401(k) plan allowed, but did not require, employees to invest their contributions in Enron stock. Around the time that Enron's accounting fraud came public, Enron's 401(k) plan had an "administrator change". Enron changed the vendor for their 401(k) plan administration. As a result, employee accounts were frozen for a few weeks during the changeover. However, the time period for the freeze was not properly announced, and employees were misled into thinking that the time interval of the freeze was longer than what actually occurred. As a result, many employees did not sell off their Enron stock as the accounting fraud was announced and the stock crashed.