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There are a few ways to locate a potential lost 401(k) account but you’ll have to do some work.

My suggestion is to first figure out if you actually did contribute to a 401(k) Plan in the first place. You can figure that out by looking at old tax returns or W-2s on box 12. If you don’t have access to them try these methods out:

  • Call up your old employer to find out the administrator of the 401(k) Plan. Either your old employer will have information on what happened to your 401(k) or they’ll direct you to the Plan Administrator.
  • Search for old Plan documents and reach out to the Administrator. If this isn’t possible and your employer is still operational do the first bullet above.
  • You can visit the US Department of Labor’s website to search the Abandoned Plan Database.
  • Most Plans are required to file a Form 5500 with the US Government. You can do a search on www.FreeERISA.com.
  • The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits is also another source if your employer has listed you as an owner of an unclaimed retirement benefit.

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