Can a company keep your 401k funds after leaving?

Can a company keep your 401k funds after leaving?


I left the job in question 13 years ago. I had no idea that I had a 401k plan with that employer. I was only 19 years old when I had that job. I received no information or paperwork while I was employed there. I received a call from the office manager stating I need to decide soon on what I want to do with my contributions.


Someone has to act as “the custodian” of 401K and IRA funds, so yes, most of the time.
Once the rightful owner, you in this case, fill out the right forms to instruct them to send the money somewhere else or even cash it out and give it to you (usually a bad idea), then that’s exactly what they’ll do. Until then, regardless of what paperwork there was, what has to happen is to just fix it. Tell them you want to roll it over to a Traditional IRA. If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to get one.
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