If you have contributed to a 401(k) at a former employer or think that you may have done so, you probably want to find your account. Maybe you switched jobs or moved and lost track of your funds. Not to worry. Your money is protected and should still be out there. Here are several steps you can take to try to recover your old 401(k).
Locating your old 401(k) plan
- The easiest and most effective method of locating an old 401(k) is to contact your old employers. Ask them to check their plan records to see if you ever participated in the 401(k). Have your full name, Social Security number and the dates that you worked for them available.
- Due to a number of companies going out of business in recent years, it is possible that your former employer is no longer around. Even if they declared bankruptcy or merged with another company, your money is protected by federal laws. In this case, try to find an old 401(k) plan statement to see if it contains any contact information for the firm that administered the plan. If so, call and ask them if they can check on your account. Again, be prepared to have your personal information available.
- Most plans are required to file an annual Form 5500. You can search for these forms using the name of your former employer on the Department of Labor’s website. If you can find a form for your old plan, it should have contact information on it.
- Check with the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits to see if your former employer has listed you as a missing participant. This secure site is designed to help both employers and former employees. You can perform a free, secure database search to determine if you may be entitled to any unpaid retirement account money. Employers can register the names of former employees, for free, who have left money with them.
If you have trouble locating your old 401(k), reach out to your Henry+Horne professional advisor.