ST. LOUIS – Four weeks after we first met, Jonathan Howard still can’t access the money he contributed to his 401(k) account while working at South City Hospital.

“Nobody can show us, ‘Ok, your money is here. Here’s the account number. Here’s a statement. This is what your account has,’” Howard said.

Howard and hundreds of his colleagues abruptly lost their jobs at South City Hospital in early August. Since then, he says the hospital’s human resources department has provided employees with promises but no progress.

“It’s been over six weeks since our last day and nothing’s changed. We’re still in the same financial situation with them,” he said.

FOX 2 was included in an email Howard received on Sept. 13 from Rob Boyd, the Regional Chief Human Resources officer for South City Hospital and Gateway Medical Center in Granite City.

In the email, Boyd says, “John Hancock is in the process of creating an entirely new 401(k) plan as opposed to re-instating our old plan.” He adds that, “currently all of our funds from South City is pooled together and sitting in a risk-free money market mutual fund, and once the new account is complete…your money will appear in your account.”

Boyd says Nova, which is a third-party retirement plan firm, “will send all participants a notice to give options on what to do with your funds. However, this takes time, and I’m unsure when it will be complete.”

If time is money, Howard says he’s running out of both.

“It’s been a real struggle. I’ve been having to pinch every dollar for every cent,” he said.

FOX 2 spoke with Boyd about this situation. He says John Hancock told him former South City Hospital employees should expect to see money return to their accounts in the next few weeks. We’ll let you know when it all becomes final. We contacted the Missouri Department of Labor about this situation. They referred us to federal authorities. We’ve not yet heard back.