• December 1, 2022

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I’m always amazed at how many employees leave an employer and forget they had invested in a 401(k).

Since it’s your money in the plan — and doesn’t belong to your employer — it makes sense to track it down.

Three of the industry’s largest 401(k) administrators — Fidelity Investments, Vanguard Group and Alight Solutions — have organized a program to help investors. They’ve named their consortium Portability Services Network.


‘American workers who change employers can have their workplace retirement savings automatically moveD to their new retirement plan,” the group reports. “Automating the process of moving 401(k), 401(a), 403(b), and 457 account balances from plan to plan when workers change jobs will help mitigate cash-out leakage and preserve trillions of dollars in savings in the U.S. retirement system, particularly benefiting minorities, women, and low-income workers.”

Why is this service important? Consider these facts, according to the Retirement Clearinghouse:

* The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) estimates that the average 401(k) plan participant will have 9.9 jobs over their working career.

* That translates into an estimated 14.8 million workers with retirement accounts changing jobs each year.

* Of these, 5.3 million of these participants (36% of annual job changers) have less than $5,000 in their account at the time of their job-change, and are subject to a mandatory distribution from their former retirement plan into a Safe Harbor IRA. Over 54% of these small-balance accounts will cash out in year 1, and 75% by year 7.

It’s clear that retirement saving is challenging these days, so keep track of your 401(k) accounts. Every dollar in your kitty matters.


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