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Company bought out: New Company assuming control of my 401K

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ScottyUSN
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Company bought out: New Company assuming control of my 401K  Reply with quote  

Having been through a company buy out where I kept my job. My 401K was mine to decide to let it ride without additional contributions or rollover.

Present day: Another buyout has occurred with no change in job status for me. Just new company in the signature line and the BS associated with Corporate HR rules and log-ins to learn.

The old and new company use the same third party 401K manager (that leaves a lot to be desired), as expected with smallish companies. No real complains as something is better than nothing.

Problem (to me anyway): I've asked the new HR if/when I can take control of my 100% vest 401K that is in blackout? Here I'm thinking.. I will take the money and move it over with my other IRA investments that have far more investment options than 401K Company offers.

I am told that money will be rolled into the new Companies 401K w(again with the same third party investment firm) who for obvious reasons does not want to free up that money to me the 401K recipient to run away with.

I have found answers that would support all parties. I guess I need to tunnel down to what/where is the legal answer to whim owns my 401K at time of sale? Is it possible for the company to have sold my 401K without my consent? Or are they trying to push past this hoping I don't rebut the answer I was given by HR? Can my 401K be sold with the company?

I should add.. With the new company I have not lost any tenure and remain 100% vested. But with my type of position (out of my own and seniority is of no concern) that only effects 401K vesting, and was only sold as a "perk" of the sale.

Anyone know what the governing source would be? With the hope I don't need a business law degree to understand.
Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:15 pm
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coaster
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ERISA is the acronym for the Federal regulations that govern 401(k) plans; the US Dept of Labor is the branch of government responsible; and FINRA is the organization charged with regulating 401(k) plan administration.

~Tim~
Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:58 pm
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ScottyUSN
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I spoke with a rep from Department Of Labor/Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). I didn't get the answer I wanted, but did get the answer I expected.

She agreed the laws and rules are very vague, but bottomline the company gets to decide which route it will take with regard to merging or severing off 401K plans. I'm sure the cost to value is the primary consideration.

In my case, the third party 401K manager is the same so the transfer from old to new is a simple internal administrative transfer.

Bummer...
Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:49 pm
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