My employer is switching 401k providers. The original provider shows that I am no longer invested, with a $0 balance. The new provider tells me that I am not yet invested, but they do have the funds. The new provider can not tell me the balance. The new provider also tells me that there will be no accounting for the blackout period to show gains or losses during that period. Is it typical for participants to be in the complete dark for over 2 weeks during a transfer?

1 Answer 1


Whenever this has happened with my 401K plans the employer provides us with detailed documentation explaining the blackout periods, timelines, and what we need to do prior to switching. This is usually provided weeks or even months in advance.

In the past the switchover has never take more than a few days; but it has always been documented. The new and the old company may not have perfectly matched fund choices. They employer will spell out how the two plans map to each other so that you can move funds just prior to the switch if you don't want to use their mapping.

During the blackout period the old company turns your shares into virtual dollars, then the new company takes your virtual dollars and turns them into shares of the new funds. The exact conversion rates can't be determined until the switch takes place. You of course miss out on any gains or losses during the transition.

Check with your employers benefits office for information regarding the switch and timeline.

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