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I participated in a 401(k) through my employer, a law firm. The law firm dissolved 5/31/10, but I neglected to move my 401(k) funds. I recently contacted the group from whom I had received statements about my account to recover and transfer my funds. They have no record of my old law firm's plan.

Mar 29, 2013 by Constance from San Francisco, CA in  |  Flag
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Peter C. Karp Level 20

Constance,

I am surprised that the group from whom you have received statements has no record of your old law firm’s account. Are the statements from your 401(k) account or are they from a custodian that may have received your funds as an IRA rollover set up on your behalf by your old employer when they dissolved the firm? If that is not the case, you may want to go to www.efast.dol.gov and do a 5500 search under your old employer’s name. The 5500 is the tax return they file and should provide the most current contact information. If you want to contact us 415-345-8185 or email peter@karpcapital.com and provide more specific information we may be able to further assist you in locating your account.

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Comment   |  Flag   |  Apr 01, 2013 from San Francisco, CA

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Constance - I'm not sure what your question is. That being said, I find it hard to believe the 401k vendor has no record of the old law firm's plan. I would call them back and send them a copy of your latest statement. If you have a current statement that shows a balance, then the money is there.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Mar 31, 2013 from Long Beach, CA

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I think you should focus on who was, or is, the plan administrator. Call back whatever information you have on your old statement. You probably spoke to someone who was unclear as to your situation, or simply not equipped to help you. So call back; you should have information on your statement for the plan’s financial advisor, the plan provider, and possibly the plan administrator.

Call whoever’s information you have; explain the situation briefly, then ask to speak to the right person to help you. When you get to the right person, explain the details, and that you need to get contact for the plan administrator. Even if the plan was dissolved, the plan administrator would be the one that did it, and can tell you where the money is. If you have a statement with an account number, and it is only 3 years old, having no record is really not an acceptable answer.

If all fails, go to www.efast.dol.gov to search for your former company’s 5500 filing for their 401(k). The plans are tracked by FEIN#. Though it is unlikely, especially because they are lawyers, is possible one of the partners owned the tax ID, and simply started a new 401(k) and your money could be there. Somewhere on the 5500 form, there may be the name of the plan administrator, but there is really no consistency with this. But search by name, take the FEIN number, look for a plan administrator, then go back and search by FEIN # and see if another plan pops up It is possible the plan dissolved and if all your contact information has changed, they may have forwarded you assets to the state’s unclaimed property fund. If you had less than $5000 in assets, the plan may likely have just sent you a check, and you don’t remember. It is sitting somewhere; you just need to find out where.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Apr 08, 2013 from Delray Beach, FL

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One more thought - try calling back the company on your old 401k statement and ask them to search for any information under your social security number. If they rolled you over to an IRA there and you have an account, that might be how you can find out.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Apr 10, 2013 from Alexandria, VA

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