I have worked for a company in Illinois for a little more than 2 years and was layoff in 2016 in a "mass layoffs" of 37 employees.

My 401K shows two balances: Vested balance: $25,651 and Current Balance: $34,201.

I am not sure if I am eligible for the full balance, in other words, if I am fully vested or not? I did not work for over 3 years, on the other hand, I did not quit my job. Thanks, -TC

  • 1
    Presumably the accounting from your 401k administrator is correct. Given there's a difference between the vested and current balance, you're not fully vested. We cannot answer your question with the information you provided. Call the 401k administrator and ask them what balance you're eligible to roll over to another account, that will answer your question of how much money is actually yours.
    – Todd
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:31

2 Answers 2


Typically, companies have 3-4 year vesting schedules, which are orthogonal to why you separated from the company.

Given that and the numbers you showed, I'd say that you are only fractionally vested in the company match.

(Of course, all of your contributions are, and have always been 100% yours.)


You need to find the documents related to your 401(k) program. They might be available on the 401(k) site.

  • You need to find if when they layoff an employee they accelerate the vesting schedule.

  • Then you need to find the vesting schedule. You need to pay attention to the partial years. 2014 to 2016 could be 2 or 3 years.

Your quarterly statement or the current balance should specify either the percent vested or the actual vested dollars. Yours shows you aren't fully vested, but you should check the rules to make sure they did it right.

The fact you were separated 3 years ago and it still shows a delta between the vested and current balance may mean they have a policy about not losing the unvested portion if you are rehired in x years. One company i worked for had a 5 year window for rehire, but you forfeited the unvested portion of you rolled the funds into an IRA or other 401(k).

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