Are you sure that’s a 401(k)? Here’s how to check

By Staff | October 19, 2016 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
1 min read

In response to our popular story, “How to bring 401(k)s and IRAs to Canada,” an Ontario-based reader asked: “Your article says to ask clients what type of U.S. retirement plan they have. As silly as this sounds, my client is not sure. I have asked this question in a few different ways, and the client still doesn’t know. What type of documentation should I request to be able to determine this myself?”

We asked Debbie Wong, a CPA and vice-president with Raymond James in Vancouver, for the answer. She says:

The account statement normally indicates the type of account, just like our Canadian account statements would indicate TFSA or RRSP on the first page. If it is still unclear [from that], the individual can confirm the account type with the financial institution that custodies the assets. It is actually not a silly question, because some employer plan statements are difficult to read. There are many different types of plans in the U.S., and [administrators] may [put] multiple types on one statement.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.