Become a Benefits Know it All

You Forgot Your Money

December 29, 2011

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By choice or not, the average person changes jobs an average of 11 times throughout their work life. This means the average person spends just under five years at each job. Of course, these are average numbers; some of us will change jobs less or more frequently than average.

If you ever change jobs, do not forget to bring your retirement money with you to your new job.
  1. Before leaving your old job, ask your soon to be former employer if you are entitled to any retirement or pension benefits and how much. Even if you did not contribute your own money to the plan, your employer may have (e.g., profit sharing). If your employer says that you have no retirement benefits with them, ask why not. The reason may be that you never became eligible for plan benefits because you did not work enough hours or work for the employer long enough to earn a benefit.
  2. If you are entitled to retirement benefits, roll the benefits over to your new employer's plan. Remember that these benefits were set aside for retirement so do not cash them out.
If you think you may have left behind retirement benefits, check out the
unclaimed retirement benefits web site. The service is easy to use (just provide your social security number), free to former employees, and secure.
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