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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/it-depends-on-the-rules-of-your-401k-plan-usually-19895590.aspx

Subject:  Re: Can I move pension if company fails? Date:  11/23/2003  12:07 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  37959 of 76419

It depends on the rules of your 401k plan. Usually the answer is no.

Your 401k funds are protected by law. They cannot get their hands on them without committing theft.

If you are vested in a defined benefit pension plan, plan rules might allow you to roll the funds over to an IRA once you leave the company. Unfortunately, a failing employer can cancel that plan at any time while you are still employed and claim any funds not contributed by you. Once you leave the company, your benefits are protected by federal law and insured by the federal pension guarantee fund (but unfortunately as they learned at Bethlehem Steel only part of the benefits are insured).

In this situation, your best course of action is to find another job pronto. That would also allow you to move your 401K funds.
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