Questions about 401K in the US

This past May I received several letters from Fidelity the company that handles my US 401K, the letters said that since I was in France they would no longer be able to handle my accounts after July 1st and they recommended I find another company and they couldn't give me any suggestion as to which company I should call, I called several other company none could handle my account.

Now all I want to do is have a regular distribution every month, from the handler of the 401K, to my US Credit Union and I want my money placed and watched something that Fidelity had done for the last 7 years without problem, I always was very happy with their service .

So I would like to know if any of the American members is having something similar done and what company they use, I do not wish to bring the money to France I want it to stay in the US. I use the money in my Credit Union Account to write birthday, anniversary, and Christmas checks for my children and grandchildren. If some of you could help and wish to do it privately, I could befriend you, so please I need help.

Hello Fidi,

Fidelity answer is that is only because I live in France, but TIAA Cref told me that if I had opened an account with them before leaving the US they could have maintained the account as I wanted but since I have already moved in France they can't take over my Fidelity account, they also said that they have many accounts of people who live outside the US, they do not understand what is the problem with Fidelity in this case, but several people have told me that they have received the same letters back in May 2013 from Fidelity.

I am still working at calling other Financial adviser.

Thank you for checking with other advisers.


Bonsoir Marie-Antoinette,

I actually had emailed my financial adviser hoping he can suggest something however he sais that the account holder has to live in the states at least 6 months per year!

How surprising, and my big question is why?

so if you ever find out why please let me know as I am real curious to know what the reasoning behind this is!

Thank you.

Hello Fidi,

Merryl Lynch is one of the investment company I called, they couldn't help because I live in France.

Thank you for your suggestions I still have a couple of other companies I will check with, I have been busy at home with some visitors and will do some more checking when they have left.



Bonjour Marie Antoinette,

Thanks for the welcome!

My 401K is handled by Merryll Lynch and I just made some changes to my account with the help of my account Advisor.

With your permission I could email him and ask for help but I believe it may be better that you actually reach out to him with your questions.

I will be happy to email him and tell him to expect an email from you.

Let me know if this is ok with you, and I will email him and copy you on the email too if you would like to.

Hello Fidi,

My bank account is with a credit Union in Illinois, I checked with State Farm Insurance Bank, they can't help. A lot of the different investment places I called all had the same answer, that they could if I had opened an account with them before leaving the US, but my account with Fidelity is old I have been placing money in the account for over 25 years I have been retired since June 2006 and Fidelity had been serving me well in my retirement until this year in May.

Welcome to Survive France Network.



I recently joined this site and have been enjoying reading posts and discussions.I am sorry to hear about your issue regarding your 401 K account management. Have ever checked into any Credit Union around the area that you are from here in the states?

(just an idea)

Wish you the best of luck!

Hello Ron,

Morgan Stanley is one of the company I called and they couldn't handle my account either because I am in France . I will call the number in France just to make sure , but I have no desire to bring the money in France, I want it to remain in the US.

I was very happy with Fidelity the Advisors always did a fantastic job of making my money fructify .

Thank you Ron


I had alrredy transferred all my funds out of Fidelity, so I found their letter slightly strange. One possible solution is to have a US address, of a relative perhaps, as the address of record. I'm afrais that would be too late for youat Fidelity.

In any case, they've shown no fidelity to their clients.

Try Morgan Stanley, they have an office in Paris-don't know the address.

Thank you Robin. I will check with them to see if they can handle my investments and place every month money in my Credit Union Account . I too have an internet toll free call to the US and other countries and will contact them.

Thank you.



Thank you Ron, Fidelity's letters said I couldn't make any investments and that they couldn't have a direct debit out of the account to my bank account , but I could call and request sums to be debited and placed in the Credit Union Account, so I would have to call every month and request the procedure. Is it possible that you had no debit scheduled out of your Fidelity account so they didn't mention anything about it ?

But I feel better to find that I am not the only one, have you looked at or searched for other another company to handle your investments ?

Thanks again.


I had the same letters, but I have an IRA. They said my husband and I could no longer purchase shares/funds. We could only keep the funds that we had, or sell, which doesn't give you a lot of control over your money when the market starts to drop.

We called several companies and the only one that said they could help was TD Ameritrade. Their phone number is 402-970-5805. They also have a toll free number from France but I used the direct line since we have free internet calls to fixed lines. Hope they can help you.

Best of luck.

I had the same thing happen to me with Fidelity; however, they only wrote to say that i could make no further investments. I assume that this is caused by the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between France and the U.S. that is a result of FATCA taking effect in 2014. We may be closed out of bank accouts in the U.S. and in France.

Thank you Cynthia, it is so strange the money from my retirement, from my place of employment, goes to the same bank account no problem there.

I think there is a problem with having a brokerage account when not a resident of the US. I will call someone and see if I can get some answers for you. interesting problem I don't have yet, but good to know about. I'll reply again.


They only said it was because I live in France, I have been in France 7 years and for the 7 years they have always put 600 dollars regularly on the first of the month into my US bank account, and charged me a quarterly charge for selling and buying stocks and bonds.


Did they tell you why they couldn't handle it any more?



I had account with Ameritrade for many years while living in US. They went bonker once I moved to France.

I managed to open account with tradestation ( having a french address.