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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Authored By Rodney A. Brooks

TRAFOTFBThe author tells the history of the Freedman’s Savings Bank, how it grew much too quickly, why it failed and the impact on Black America. The Freedman’s Bank offered a safe depository for formerly enslaved people, expanded quickly and gained millions in deposits – mostly ranging from $5 to $50. But inexperience and corruption doomed it to failure, costing may of the small depositors their savings.

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“Rodney A. Brooks’ ‘Fixing the Racial Wealth Gap’ is one of the best written and most prescriptive books I’ve read on this prickly subject. Using powerful stats, stories and insightful wisdom, it is written from the heart, mind, body and spirit … plus years of research and thought as a mainstream journalist, Fixing the Racial Wealth Gap is revealing, humorous, instructive and sobering.” – Dr. George C. Fraser

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