Workers who job hop and lose track of retirement plan accounts might have some help finding them.

In a time when people might move from job to job with distressing frequency and be unable — or forget — to take their retirement accounts with them, the issue of “orphan” accounts has grown.

Millennium Trust Company has launched a new search tool designed to help individuals find unclaimed retirement funds that may have been rolled over to a Millennium Trust IRA account from a previous employer.

Not just workers who changed jobs voluntarily, but those who were laid off might have failed to take steps at the time to move their retirement funds along with the contents of their desks. And that can add up to a lot of people — as well as a sizeable amount of money.

“Department of Labor statistics reveal that at the end of 2013, about 16 million people still had retirement assets in a former employer’s retirement plan,” Terry Dunne, managing director of the rollover solutions group at Millennium Trust, said in a statement. Dunne added, “A significant percentage of these assets may represent missing, nonresponsive participant assets.”

Millennium Trust’s tool is by no means the only one to assist participants in finding their orphan accounts—Retirement Clearinghouse helps plan sponsors track down former participants who have gone missing. And the Department of Labor has pushed plan sponsors to try harder to locate those orphan account holders.

But the new tool could be useful because, although several national databases match individuals to unclaimed retirement funds, accounts custodied by Millennium Trust are not included. The online search tool can help participants anywhere in the country check for unclaimed retirement account funds at Millennium Trust.

If an account is located, participants can choose either to keep the account where it is or take a distribution.

 

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