Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
You are entitled to and totally vested in a 401k benefit plan in accord with its vesting schedule. You are always fully vested in the contributions you make to such plan, and you must be 100% vested in employer contributions after 6 years service at most. You are old enough where you can start taking distributions from your account without additional tax penalties.
If the employer "took" your account, which shouldn't theoretically be possible because such funds are supposed to be held in trust for you (i.e., not held by the employer) you have a couple options - 1) contact the Department of Labor (Employee Benefits Division) and file a complaint. This would be free to you. You can contact them here: https://www.dol.gov/ebsa/contactebsa/consumerassistance.html Or 2) hire an attorney to pursue an ERISA claim against the employer and possibly the plan administrator for allowing the employer access to to your account.
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