Lost your retirement account? You're not alone.

February 7, 2017|Sarah Rothenberg

In recent years workforces have become increasingly transient. One unintended consequence is that when employees leave their jobs, many also leave benefits behind. Years later these benefits may be difficult to find, or employees may not even know that such benefits are owed.

Steps to Finding Your 401(k) and Pension Plans

1. Locate your old employer and send a letter requesting information about your retirement benefit

You are unable to locate your old employer. Now what?

2. Look for your plan’s most recent 5500
a. Contains contact information and Employer ID Number
b. Found at freeerisa.com and efast.dol.gov

So you still cannot find your old employer or they no longer exist.

3. Check with PBGC for terminated pension plans (they’ve also proposed a program for 401(k) plans, effective in 2018)

4. Terminated 401(k) plans may have transferred funds—IRA, bank account, state’s unclaimed property fund
a. Search the state you were employed or where the plan sponsor is incorporated

5. Small balances in 401 (k) plans may be transferred
a. Search online databases of companies that accept small 401(k) transfers
b. This includes Millennium Trust Co, PenChecks Trust, Inspira, and Retirement Clearinghouse LLC

Want some help? You’re in luck!

6. Free help is available
a. Department of Labor—askebsa.dol.gov 1-866-444-3272
b. Pension Counseling Projects—pensionrights.org/find-help

Categories: Retirement