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Retirement Living

What Are Unclaimed Retirement Benefits and How to Find Them

Rodney Brooks
|
October 22, 2021

Baby boomers have worked an average of 12 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. During each job change, retirement accounts can get lost in the shuffle. Eventually, some employees may forget about these accounts completely.

What Are Unclaimed Retirement Benefits?

Unclaimed retirement benefits are retirement account balances that have been left behind by former participants of retirement plans. Some people lose track of a retirement plan and need to find a lost 401(k) later. "Life gets in the way. You move on and forget," says David Curry, principal and co-founder of East Paces Group in Atlanta. When you get closer to retirement, you might need to track down old 401(k) balances or pension plans.

Here is how to find lost retirement savings:

  1. Contact your former employer's human resources department.
  2. Search for unclaimed retirement benefits.
  3. Work with a financial advisor.

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