Is one of your 401(k) or pension plans in a corporate Lost & Found?
Why not take steps to reclaim it?
“Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that someone could actually lose a plan they worked hard to build up and contributed to faithfully over a significant amount of time?”
Well, as hard as it may be to get your mind around, thousands have done just that, and continue to do it. Are you 100% sure you aren’t one of them? It’s not as unthinkable as you might imagine. People change jobs — sometimes quite often. In the hustle and hassle of settling into new career environments, those old agreements, accounts, contracts, etc., can move very quickly and quietly into the background. Sometimes they stay there. Then comes a new job change, then another. You get the picture.
Add to all that: the regularity of corporate name and location changes; mergers and buy-outs; the employee’s lack of information about those things; plus the corporation’s inability to locate past employee contact information. You can see how the possibility of “losing” a 401(k) or pension account has become more and more feasible. According to some reports, well over 25% of pension accounts end up this way!
Don’t panic! Fortune Financial can make a difference.
Your first step is to contact former employers requesting information about your retirement accounts. If this doesn’t provide resolution, we’ll work with you to determine whether or not you might have a wayward 401(k) tucked away in limbo somewhere. If you like, we also can walk you through some simple processes you can easily do on your own. For example, there are databases you can search online to determine whether or not benefits that rightly belong to you have been transferred to the unclaimed property accounts of the State(s) where you lived or worked. Plus, there are contact numbers and online addresses of Labor Department and Pension-Rights agencies who might help track down misplaced or abandoned accounts (see three examples at the end of this article).
Are you suddenly wondering if you might have left benefits on the table from an earlier employment experience? You don’t have to wonder — and your hard-earned investment savings don’t have to stay missing even if you have inadvertently lost touch with them.
And while we’re at it, let us help you find another potential windfall — one we are helping many of our Clients discover. If stock contributions make up any part of a past or current 401(k) plan, there are potential tax savings (i.e., “extra” retirement income that is too often “hidden” just because we haven’t been told where to look). Depending on your plan tenure, the tax impact on your retirement funds could be pleasantly significant.
We look forward to being the kind of difference for you that so many of our Clients have come to expect from Fortune Financial!
Some Free Account-Locating Resources
Labor Department, Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Participant and Compliance Outreach, Education and Assistance Program (askebsa.dol.gov) 1-866-444-3272
This agency offers help online, over the phone and in field offices around the country.
Pension Counseling Projects (pensionrights.org/find-help)
This network of nonprofits (including the Pension Rights Center and Pension Action Center) helps callers locate unclaimed retirement benefits.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (pbcg.gov) 1-800-400-7242
This Government agency offers telephone assistance and publishes “Finding a Lost Pension.” It maintains a database of missing participants in underfunded pension plans that the agency has taken over, as well as a database of participants whose employers have terminated their pension plans.