Trace a Missing IRA – Unclaimed Individual Retirement Account Search

Approximately 50 million Americans own Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) worth an estimated $3 trillion. Types of IRAs include:

  • Traditional IRA & Roth IRA
  • 401(k) Rollover IRA
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
  • SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) & SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) IRA

About half of all IRAs are administered by and invested in various mutual funds. One- third are held in brokerage accounts, while bank deposits and life insurance annuities account for the remainder. About 15% of IRAs cumulatively worth $450 million are held by those aged 70 and above. Due to tax free compounding over the years, the average account is valued at around $100,000.

While unclaimed 401(k) retirement plan assets come under the purview of federal guidelines mandated by ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974); missing and forgotten IRAs at banks, brokerages and insurance companies may not. These include rollover IRAs established for missing or non-responsive 401(k) plan participants.

A Traditional IRA may be considered unclaimed if a withdrawal is not made by age 70½; the age at which non-withdrawal triggers a 50% tax penalty. Both Traditional and Roth IRAs may be considered abandoned if one or more distribution checks remain uncashed, which can occur when the owner reaches age 59½ or before, if early distributions are taken.

Due to the long term nature of this type of investment, each year large numbers of owners and heirs – who may not be aware of a deceased family member’s IRA or rollover 401k – fail to claim accounts to which they’re entitled.

Note: The rules for Defined-Benefit Pensions and 401(k) plans are different; for assistance tracing these types of retirement accounts go to: Unclaimed 401k Search or Missing Pension Search.

If you have reason to believe you are entitled to claim a missing IRA, either as the original owner or rightful heir, but have had no contact with the holder and have not received payment, complete the form below to initiate a search: