The simplest way to find money in an old 401(k) account is to contact the former employer, according to Henry and Horne, LLP, but that is not always possible, and the plan may be abandoned. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that 401(k) plans can be abandoned for a variety of reasons, such as when a former employer or plan sponsor dies, files for bankruptcy or flees the country.
The next step is to look for contact information for the plan administrator on an old 401(k) plan statement. If there are no old statements available or they do not contain the contact information, a form the company was required by law to file annually, known as Form 5500, can be searched for on the U.S. Department of Labor website. It should have the contact information.
Other options are to look up the plan with the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, a federal insurer of private pensions, and on the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits, a free service that helps contact the former employer, advises U.S. News & World Report. In most cases, the employee's social security number, company name, the name of the pension plan and dates of employment are necessary.