Financial Advisors

Anyone ever have a client be issued a check for a small 401k balance and the client never cashed it? Believe they had 60 days to get it into an IRA but they didn’t. What are their options? Continued.

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Had a similar situation. Client had the check sent from Fidelity made payable to him. Never did anything with it. Check was void after 180 days. After 9 months, client came in to ask for help. We called Fidelity together and they were able to get a new check issued but were able to do it as a rollover. Good news is that the value of the check was the same as the day the original went out and the market had dropped (4th quarter of last year). Client was able to roll over the money but buy in near the market low! Call the 401k plan company and they should be able to reissue the check. Stay on top of the client to bring the check in as soon as it is received.

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Oh that’s great! Will definitely call the 401k company with the client.

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First look into whether the funds were escheated to the state of residency. Every state has their own searchable website to help assist (usually state comptroller). If nothing there, then the TPA or fund company would be the one to check with. Even though the plan was “closed”...the previous company (Fidelity, Vanguard, etc) might have credited back the funds and reopened their retirement account after the check was not cashed. Call their 1800 # with the client on the other line or in your office. They can usually cross reference a SSN for you. The money is out there. You just have to search a little to get it. Good luck!!

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Thank you! I did check all the states he worked in and other online resources I found. I think our next move is to try to find the custodian and call them. Bc the amount was small (below $5k) I’m afraid they closed the account. I think he tried to call the custodian and they weren’t able to find his account by name. I’ll try to call with him.

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Usually those checks are void after a certain number of days so you would need to have the check reissued

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Yeah i would imagine 2 years later it’s stale! Lol

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I think with a reissue you will be able to do a rollover. Without the check being cashed it never left the custodian

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I’m hoping so! Thank you

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Had the same thing happen with a pension disbursement. Sent it to the clients prior address and didn’t notify her it was never cashed. It was 8 months - not two years - was no issue to have it reissued and because it hadn’t been cashed it wasn’t an issue for 60 day rollover. Far as the issue with the company - the employer doesn’t matter, the custodian should still have the records. Start with them and follow it through.

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Thank you for the advice! Much appreciated. I’m hopeful we will be able to get the funds.

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Client got check 2 years ago, didn’t do anything with it, and now they are working with me. I’m pretty confident the rollover option has sailed but how would we even get the check reissued if he wanted to cash it and pay the penalties/interest so he doesn’t lose all the money by not cashing it? His former employer got bought out and the plan was closed so there is no one to really contact. Any help/insight is appreciated!

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