What should I do with the 401k from my previous employer?

Question: What should I do with the 401k from my previous employer?

I had a 401(k) plan with the company that I previously worked with. After I left this company, I never ended up doing anything with this account. I was wondering how I would be able to access it and what I should do with it. My current employer does not offer a 401(k) so I’m not able to roll it over. What do you think I should do?


The 401(k) account will always be yours. You have the option to leave it with your previous employer, you can transfer it to a future employer that does offer a 401(k), or you can also roll it over into an IRA. I would recommend rolling the 401(k) into an IRA. The only caveat however is that the company that you open the IRA with might not offer the same funds, so you would need to make sure you like the fund options available with the company that you open the IRA with.

You should contact the HR department at your previous employer and inform them that you would like to rollover your 401k into an IRA. You’ll just have to complete some paperwork and the company that you open up the IRA with should be able to take care of the rest for you.

Learn more on how to roll a 401(k) into a Roth IRA.

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One Response to What should I do with the 401k from my previous employer?

  1. Joe C says:

    You need to research what happened to the money.

    Call your old company. They have the information on your 401k plan.

    One of three things probably happened:

    1) They paid you the balance of the 401k when you left.

    2) They rolled it into an IRA for you.

    3) It’s still in their 401k program.

    If you need to rollover the 401k into an IRA, be careful there are penalties that can occur if not completed correctly.

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