I left a prior employer back in 2012, but I made the mistake of leaving my 401K in the company plan, which is administered by T. Rowe Price.

At the time I left, the balance showed I was 100% vested in the plan. However, about a year later, some of the funds started showing up as no longer vested.

When I inquired what was going on, I was told that the employer discretionary contributions I had received had a different vesting schedule than the other funds. The vesting schedule had previously been entered incorrectly, and under the new settings I was only 60% vested in these funds.

The plan administrator (T Rowe Price) is telling me there is nothing they can do, it is up to my former company to resolve. When I talked to my former company, I was told that T Rowe Price had incorrectly entered the original vesting schedule, and the plan is now showing the correct balances.

My question is, do I have any right to the non-vested funds, and if so, how should I go about recovering them? It’s unreasonable to me that I made the decision to leave the company under the impression that I was fully vested only for that to later change; it also seems like T Rowe Price is allowing my former company to arbitrarily update the vesting policy on funds that have already been distributed.

The balance of the non-vested funds is approximately $7,000. I was at my previous employer for a little more than 4 years. I intend to roll these funds over to an IRA at a different institution but would like to resolve the issues with vesting first.

  • 5
    Your company had the canonical vesting schedule. What did their documents say eight years ago? (This is something you should have resolved as soon as you noticed it.)
    – RonJohn
    Dec 30, 2020 at 19:19

2 Answers 2


The official vesting schedule is important, also your tax accountant could probably suggest an advisor (legal or insurance) who could act as your advocate in resolving this with your employer.


If the funds are not vested per the rules that were active at the time, then no, you do not have any claim on them. You might be able to bring suit against TRP if you can show that their error caused you to make other decisions which had severe detrimental effects, but odds of succeeding seem low, especially if you haven't checked what their statements at the time were about how accurate the report was promised to be.

I think you have to file this under "shoulda explicitly checked vesting before deciding to leave, if it would have affected your decision." Not all errors are actionable, and this one -- especially at this late date -- is as much yours as theirs.

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