Default User BR wrote:
lawman3966 wrote:Even more important would be to determine whether this someone else will continue the current plan, or start a new one. If the new employer starts a new plan (which would happen if a new corporate entity is formed), you should be free to roll your 401K assets into an IRA. You could then start contributing to the new plan without having your entire accumulated balance subject to any undesirable fees.
I don't think that is true. When my original company merged with another to form MyMegaCorp, our plan was terminated, a blackout period announced, and all the existing choices mapped as best they could to ones in the new plan. There was no opportunity for rollover.
There may be a semantic difference here that is confusing the issue. In the case of a merger, it's possible that the plan is maintained, but that the provider is changed. The plan identity and provider entity are not necessarily bound to one another. To my knowledge, an employer can maintain a single plan, but change providers. This may be what happened in your case. More importantly, it sounds as though, in your merger, there was continuity of corporate identity between the old and new entities that you worked for.
However, if the transition from old to new plan/employer would normally require completion and signature of a Rollover form, the employer cannot do it without the employee's signature on the pertinent form, and to my knowledge cannot force an employee sign such a form. At my current employer, the participants in the former plan (at a predecessor firm) are not required to roll their money from the old plan to the new one, and several have indicated that they would not do so, as they could get lower fees by rolling the money from the old plan to an IRA instread.
I'm not an expert on corporate forms and structures, but I believe that the difference resides in the fact that our situation involved the creation of a new law firm, rather than a merger per se. In sum, the situation appears to be case-specific. It's possible that the OP's situation is closer to yours, and that the money can't be rolled out of the plan, but it's work making sure.