How to collect 401K from Old bankrupt Employer

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Point Blanks, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Point Blanks

    Point Blanks

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    I just woke up from a LONG slumber and realized i paid into a 401k fund to a employer who declared bankruptcy back in 1999 (around). I was employed with them from 1988-1994 and contributed around $10.50 weekly.

    After their bankruptcy the business remained operational but under a new name and new ownership.I did recently go there and asked questions and the only thing i was told is that they still have a 401k program but my name / money are not on this newer program.

    Do you feel the Dept of Labor who oversee the Federal (?) 401k program could somehow help or am i crap out of luck due to my failure to keep up on the issue.

    I will add i have lived here at this house 35 years.I was living here while employed with them and have not moved.The business is also at that same location and still operates from that same location but under a new name of course.

    The reason for the above is i was never notified thru mail of any thing that was happening by my employer OR the Co. that was handling my 401k investment?

    Any advice? #fergetaboutit ? Pursue?

    Thx! Edited to add this is in Atlanter,Ga.
     
  2. NMG26

    NMG26

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    :pursue:
    :horse:

    That's all I got, I hope you get your money
     
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  3. Hoochrunners

    Hoochrunners

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    Did you contact the company handling the investments? They should have records.

    Try checking missingmoney.com. Most states use it to find people owed money. I do believe after a period of time however (10 years perhaps, every state is different) the funds forfeit to the state. Imagine that. Good luck.
     
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  4. jeanderson

    jeanderson Making America great again! Platinum Member

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    Do you have any statements or paperwork at all? A 401(k) is yours alone, as opposed to a pension. The financial condition of the company has nothing to do with your account. Even if you invested in a money market type investment, there would be substantial interest that's accumulated in 25 years. Based on what you said you contributed, could be around $10,000 in there now.
     
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  5. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Federal Law ( The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) ) protects most or all of your 401k savings.

    Start with the company and get an accounting.
     
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  6. Point Blanks

    Point Blanks

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    Thanks to all who replied! I have checked the Ga. unclaimed money and nothing exists.

    I went to my old workplace who again is operating under a new company name and ownership (same location though),and they directed me to their "new" 401k company who i contacted and they told me my name wasnt on the list.

    I guess i need to go back to my old employers and try to find out the name of the "old" company who was handling the 401k deposits?

    I already showed my old employer a weekly payroll stub that had fed / state / ss / and a $10.50 (close) 401k deduction.

    Looks like i need to go back there to find old 401k company before my old employer went bankrupt?

    Again....i never received anything in the mail and i have lived here before,during,and i still reside here.
     
  7. rj1939

    rj1939

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    401k have protections, so that employers can't just make them disappear. You should have gotten notice (written) at the time of the bankruptcy, telling you what steps you needed to take. Letting this much time pass, may be a problem, but it would likely have been rolled over into some account that is making essentially nothing in returns.

    I just got a hold of my 401k administrator, due to bankruptcy of my last employer. They hadn't seen anything come through on their end yet, but I didn't want to wait. I am going to let mine ride, til I have to do something.........but I will be notified when that time comes.
     
  8. TheDreadnought

    TheDreadnought

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    Yes, frequently a company will outsource 401k management to an investment company. You just need to find out what it was.
     
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  9. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Do you stay in touch with any employees of the old firm ? They should have some info that would be helpful.
     
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  10. light-switch

    light-switch Back to work...

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    Is there a way to look up on YOUR side where the contributions are send to, and under what account number?
     
  11. Southwind

    Southwind

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    You should have gotten at least annual reports on your 401k while you were working. When you left that job, you should have had a decision to make about whether to leave the 401k in place, roll it over, or cash it out. If you left it in place or rolled it over, you should now be getting at least annual reports. Do you have no files at all?
     
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  12. MB-G26

    MB-G26 Extraneous Lifetime Member

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    Just had a thought:
    Given that the company apparently filed bankruptcy, it's possible that the named Administrator of the 401(k) stuff may be listed in some of the filings bankruptcy court requires. If nothing else shakes out, see if you can locate the bankruptcy case number (online index?), and drill down or sideways from there.
     
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  13. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    401k is not a part of your employers business/income, it would not have been affected by bankruptcy.

    If all is on the up and up and as you have described it your money is out there somewhere.

    However I do question you not being kept informed. Yearly and quarterly statements are required from whoever is administrating your 401k.

    Something is not right with your situation. Either an error on your part about the events. Possible fraud from the original employer. etc???

    You should have reams of paperwork on this.

    Do you recall who you chose to have your 401k invested into the name of the stocks or mutual funds etc? This would have all been chosen by you and not your employer.


    /
     
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  14. F14A

    F14A

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    Get yourself a Lawyer.
     
  15. Rotn1

    Rotn1

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    So about $40 a week for about 300 weeks = $12K basis.
    Add fund performance and you could have a number up to $50K.

    As others have said, Companies run and are / were responsible for Control of defined benefit plans....... But this is a 401K which are always handled by a 3rd Party.

    Did your employment end before the bankruptcy. In which case you should have received an exit package?

    Did you employment end concurrent with the bankruptcy. In which case you would have received an exit package?

    In either case you would have been instructed to contract the 401K Plan operator at the time for instructions regarding the accumulated funds. You should have been asked if you wanted to cash out or roll-over into another plan ( or leave them where they sat, if allowed).

    You will need the original account number and the Name of the firm handling the original 401k Plan and any new plan administrators that may have taken over. Any documentation showing balances at the time of your departure would be helpful.
    If possible the documentation provided to you by the company when you separated from them.

    I would prioritize my pursuit as follows:
    401 K plan administrator
    Bankruptcy Receiver
    Current Owner.

    Having said this I think only the first name on the list will be of any use to you.
    Frankly time is not on your side.

    Given the amount of money potentially involved you probably want to consult a lawyer.

    Why has it taken you 25 years to act on this.
    Is it possible you already got the funds as parts of the normal pay-out process.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
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  16. DoubleWide

    DoubleWide

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    Pretty much a repeat of what others said. 401k should have been separate from the business and handled by a third party.

    Check with former coworkers. Check old paperwork. Check unclaimed retirement funds.

    Just another reason to keep track of accounts for your heirs.
     
  17. cbetts1

    cbetts1

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    If you were not receiving regular investment reports from the funds that you picked, I have some concerns. I hope it works out.
     
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  18. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    First step for sure is finding paperwork. You can't do squat without the name of the fiduciary company and probably an account number.
     
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