(MoneyHippo.com) – Most individuals will change employers several times throughout their working years. It’s possible during those career shifts, workers will unwittingly leave behind retirement benefits accumulated over their tenure with the company. For that reason, it’s important to know how to track down long-forgotten 401(k) accounts. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reclaim the lost retirement account and roll it into your current 401(k) or another retirement account.
First, make a list of all previous employers and see if they are still in business. If you suspect there was a 401(k) retirement benefit associated with the position, contact them to find out the investment firm they used to control their retirement accounts. If the information changed between the time they employed you and the present-day, track the changes to get to the right person who may be able to help.
Some people may be unable to track down the employer to find a contact who can assist. In those cases, the next step would be to search various databases for abandoned plans.
These include the US Department of Labor Abandoned Plan Search, Free ERISA tool, The National Registry, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Those resources house abandoned plans when employers could not locate the previous employee to forward the plan. One last place to check when searching for unclaimed funds is at the federal and state level.
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