The corparation that I worked for has filed chapter 11 and I am wondering what effects it will have on my pension and 401k.thank you AL

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Bankruptcy filings freeze all the assets of a company while the business and its creditors sort out restitution.  What happens to a 401k plan depends on the type of bankruptcy protection an employer seeks -- Chapter 11 or Chapter 7.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a debt reorganization in which the business expects to continue operating.  It is the most common type of bankruptcy filing by businesses.  Workers whose employer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy likely will see their plan continue operating.  Current employees can still contribute to the plan, and former employees can request distributions in order to cash out or roll the money to an IRA or a new employer's plan that accepts rollovers.  In Chapter 11, the employer may amend the plan document and reduce future employer contributions.

If your employer, or a former employer, is still holding your 401k saving and has declared bankruptcy, contact the plan administrator immediately.  Don't wait for it to contact you; the sooner you act, the better off you are.   Explain that you are a plan participant and provide your updated contact information.  This way, you'll receive mailings related to the plan and when it comes to distributing savings, yours should arrive in timely fashion.


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