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Question

Asked 10/21/2008

How to access my 401k account

I was lately informed by my formal employer that I had a 401k account setup during my employment with them and now they want to forward me the money. I am not aware that I have a 401k account and I have never received a 1099 form. Is there any way I can check if it is true or not that my previous employer set up the 401k for me? if they did, where can I access my account?

Thank you
Oliver

 
 
 
 
 
Answers

Answer 1/8 - Submitted 11/26/2008

You have to contact you former employer. If they are large, they will have a Human Resorces Department. They can give you the information about your 401k . If you have one you can roll it over into an IRA so you don't have to pay taxes.

 
 

Answer 2/8 - Submitted 2/24/2010

If you did not separate too long ago, the account may still be active. You will need a user-name and password to access it. If they deactivated it, then you will have to contact the accounting department of your former employer.

 
 

Answer 3/8 - Submitted 1/15/2012

How to acess my account dont have pin number or password

 
 

Answer 4/8 - Submitted 1/15/2012

I'm just wondering if you noticed any pre-tax deductions on your pay stub. When you become part of a 401K plan, the employer usually gives you a packet or a packet is sent to you by the financial institution responsible for the account. You would have had to fill out paper work so that tax information and beneficiary info would be in place. I would check with their Payroll Department or Human Resources Department to find out the info needed to access your account. Once you find out the amount, you can then either open a 401K with your current employer if they offer it, or you can open your own retirement fund. If you don't put it into a retirement account, you will be taxed on that money along with a penalty fee, usually 10%. You didn't know you had it, so don't spend it.

 
 

Answer 5/8 - Submitted 10/5/2012

Accepted

 
 

Answer 6/8 - Submitted 10/8/2012

Some employers will take a minimum deduction and start a 401k for it's employees and then give you the option to increase or cancel it. Even if you had a tiny amount deducted each pay check the company may have had a match program. That means they could have been contributing to is also. You can contact the human resources department of your employer to get the information on how to see your amount. You will not get a 1099 until you take it out. If you just take the money, you would be subject to the early withdrawal penalty and the 10% tax on it. If you can roll it over into a current employers plan or some other tax deferred savings plan, you will not be subject to paying the fines and taxes. Even if it was a small amount it is an opportunity to keep saving.

 
 

Answer 7/8 - Submitted 10/8/2012

Your best move is to first decide where you want to move the money. If you were to take the money directly then, you are subject to a 20% penalty for early widthdrawl and the amount would be added to your income for this year and taxes. It would be better to contact your former employer and the company you want to roll the money over to and have them work towards moving the money into a new IRA or to your current employers 401k plan. I have left companies in the past and in some cases moved the money to an IRA and in other instances just kept the money in the 401k plan for that employer. The company you decide to move the money to will actually do all the work for you and make the move painless.

 
 

Answer 8/8 - Submitted 7/22/2014

I would ask the employer for the name of the 401k investiment, for example it would be someone like Smith Barney or Merrill Lynch for example. Once you obtain that information, make a call to that company and make the inquiry regarding your 401k. It is a little unusual for an employer to contact you to send you the money from your 401k- this is your personal account and the employers access is usually limited to deposits, and conditions of access at retirement. Example, my husband was eligible to draw from his 401k at age 59 1/2- however, under the conditions set in his 401k, he had to be retired from the company who offered the program. He could not access it while still employed by them. One or more considerations: Did you work for that company long enough to become "vested"? Most often that requirement is five years. If you were not vested, the company may well be able to send you your portion of the contributions. Lastly, and most unfortunate, this could be a scam. It is not a normal practice for an employer to contact you regarding 401k payments..... tread carefully, if it were me, I would see step one and go from there.

 
 
 
 
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