When you change jobs you usually have the option to roll over your retirement plan to the new company. However, there are times when it makes more sense to leave the funds in the hands of your former employer, such as when it offers a plan that has done well through the years. If this is the case and you have lost touch with your former employer, there are several ways to track down your retirement funds and information.
Contact your former employer. Speak with the benefits or retirement plan administrator. Many companies have a person or department designated to handle retirement plans and benefits. This person usually handles the paperwork and is the one who communicates with the plan sponsor. Provide the administrator with your name, dates of employment and Social Security number.
Locate the third party administrator. Smaller companies often outsource the management of retirement plans. If you have the name of the company that manages the plans, contact it directly to find information on your retirement plan.
Call the plan sponsor directly. If your former company no longer exists and you know the financial entity that is sponsoring the plan, contact it directly. Some plan sponsors let you search for your plan information on their website.
Inquire with the Social Security Administration. According to Consumer Affairs, the Social Security Administration can provide you with information regarding a traditionally defined benefit pension plan. Visit the website at SSA.gov or go into your local Social Security Administration office in person.
Check the U.S. government sponsored website, pbgc.gov. This website contains information on pensions from companies that have gone bankrupt or pension plans that have been terminated. The PBGC takes over many plans that have been terminated, but not all. Regardless, their resources can help you to track down your retirement funds.
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