You may have forgotten your 401(k) plan if you quit your job at a record-setting rate during the swine flu.
If you quit a job, you can either cash out your 401(k) with your old employer or transfer it to your new company's 401(k) plan.
When workers switch jobs, they often want to keep their old employer's plan. They can be lost over time.
According to estimates by Capitalize, there were almost 25 million forgotten 401(k) accounts at the end of the year.
According to Capitalize, the average forgotten 401(k) account balance is over fifty grand.
It is important to make sure you have all of your plans in order to avoid missing out.
If you want to find out if you still have a leftover 401(k) plan, you can contact your previous employer's human resources department. If you still have old statements, you should include the plan administrator's contact information.
The amount of money in your account can affect where the funds end up. If your 401(k) account has less than $1,000 in it, your employer can cash it out. The company can roll your plan into an IRA on your behalf if the funds are over $5,000.
Either way, your old employer should be able to confirm whether or not they sent you a check.
Sometimes employers amalgamate with other companies or the company you used to work for is no longer around. Tracking down a stray 401(k) plan can be hard.
You can use a database to find old 401(k) plans.
You can use your Social Security number to search for lost retirement benefits at the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators has a database that allows you to search by name.
If you believe your employer put your 401(k) into an IRA, you can use FreeERISA to find it. The abandoned plan database of the Department of Labor can give you updated information on plans that are about to be discontinued or stopped.
If you find your plan, you can ask the plan's administrator to transfer your plan to your new employer's plan. If you're younger than 5912 you'll face income taxes on those funds and a 10% withdrawal penalty.
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