Employees can search for old 401(k) plans by contacting former employers and by searching the database maintained by the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits, explains U.S. News & World Report. The Employment Benefits Securities Administration also maintains a database of old 401(k) plans, as the U.S. Department of Labor indicates.
Many people change jobs frequently when they are young and leave behind old 401(k) accounts, according to U.S. News & World Report. Although the first step in locating lost 401(k) accounts is to contact the old companies, pension owners sometimes experience difficulty locating them. To search the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits database for old 401(k) accounts, go to UnclaimedRetirementBenefits.com, and click on Perform a Free Search. Then, enter your Social Security number. If the search finds a match, enter your contact information to allow your former employer to contact you with information about how to obtain your 401(k) account funds.
The database of the Employee Benefits Security Administration lists 401(k) plans that are terminated or whose administrators went bankrupt, states the U.S. Department of Labor. To search for abandoned 401(k) plans, go to the DOL.gov main page, and select Agencies in the toolbar at the top of the page. Click on Employee Benefits Security Administration, and then click on Abandoned Plans under Compliance Assistance in the menu on the right. Click on Abandoned Plan Program Search under Abandoned Plan Program, and enter as much information as you have about the plan. Finally, click on Search for Plan.