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Where is my stock?

Your HP, HPE, and spinoff stock is probably not all held in one place. For example, spinoff shares may not wind up in the same place as the parent shares. Records at plan administrators and stock brokerages often don't have the original acquisition date and correctly-calculated current cost basis for each lot of acquired shares -- a major impact on what they report to the IRS when the stock is sold. An "Unknown" basis defaults to $0.

Your employment-related stock may held in a stock plan managed by a Plan Administrator hired by your employer, or held in your name by the company's Transfer Agent -- or your shares may be held in a personal Stock Brokerage account.

When you leave, your shares are automatically moved from an employer-paid account at a Plan Administrator -- such as the "NetBenefits" division of Fidelity or the "MyBenefits" division of Merrill Lynch -- to a personal account at the Stock Brokerage subsidiary of the same financial conglomerate. (Merrill Lynch calls the two accounts "Employer Sponsored Plan" and "Individual Investor Account.") The new account will use a different website, login, and account number.

Since your employer is no longer paying for the account, you will probably be billed an annual fee (which may be higher than you might expect.) Lot-and-cost data for your lots should have been preserved if you move between the "benefits" and "retail" divisions of the same financial company.

However, if you move the shares to a different stock brokerage, the shares of each company will be moved in a single lot -- you will have to use your own records to enter date and purchase price for each lot into the second broker's system.

If there is a stock spinoff, the new stock will either be at the spun-off company's Transfer Agent or in your personal Stock Brokerage account -- depending on where the parent stock was located.

If you don't have good records -- or didn't get your lot-and-cost information into your broker's system -- you can use our spreadsheets to develop a reasonable estimate of your cost basis for most HP/HPE-related stocks for any span of HP employment through the 11/1/2000 plan changeover. hpalumni.org/StockSpread

Obtaining stock records. Member advice: How to obtain stock records

You must make direct contact with each brokerage and administrator at least once a year. Otherwise, depending on state laws and the brokerage or administrator's policies, members report that your stock may be turned over to a state as unclaimed property -- which can be very difficult to retrieve. Checking your statements online doesn't count.

Easy to check for lost stock and uncashed checks: https://www.hpalumni.org/Unclaimed


Exceptions

Received a "Potential Private Retirement Benefit" letter from Social Security? How to decode the letter and who to contact, if necessary: Potential Benefit letter

If you have paper stock certificates. Stock Certificates

Stray transactions due to spinoffs. In addition to the important transactions, members report receiving 1099-B forms for small amounts, 34-cent dividend checks, and other notifications of low-dollar-value stray transactions referring to either a temporary "SpinCo" company or the new spinoff company. These come from either the administrator of your existing employee shares or from the new company's transfer agent. (In the case of Micro Focus, the original stock transfer agent was "American Stock Transfer.") If you get a trivial 1099-B, report it on your tax -- no matter how small. (Unlike 1099-INT's, there is no minimum reportable amount for a 1099-B.) 


Details for specific HP/HPE-related companies

Agilent (A)    Autonomy (AUTNF)    Compaq (CPQ)    DEC (DEC)    DXC (DXC)    EDS (EDS)    Hewlett-Packard/HP Inc (HWP, HPQ)    Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)    Keysight (KEYS)    Micro Focus (MFGP)    Perspecta (PRSP)    Poly/Plantronics (POLY)    Tandem (TDM)    Other Predecessor Companies


Finding your stock

You may now have stock in HP, HPE, Agilent, Keysight, or DXC in multiple accounts and may not have received cash payouts for Micro Focus or Perspecta.

Your accounts may be at employee stock purchase or option/incentive plan administrators, at transfer agents for spun-off companies, or at your brokerage. Perhaps old paper certificates or turned over to a state as unclaimed property.

Your current cost basis depends on when you acquired stock as companies were merged and spun out.

Plan administrators, transfer agents, and brokerages vary significantly in how (or if) they track gain/loss and cost basis for the many complex HP-related stock events and what (if anything) they report to the IRS.

Your HP, HPE, and spinoff stock is probably not all held in one place. Records at plan administrators and stock brokerages often don't have the original acquisition date and correctly-calculated current cost basis for each lot of acquired shares -- a major impact on what they report to the IRS when the stock is sold. An "Unknown" basis defaults to $0. You can easily wind up paying taxes twice on the same transaction.

Given the spinoffs over the years (Agilent, Keysight, HPE, DXC, Micro Focus, and Perspecta) -- and the number of stock transfer agents and plan administrators involved (not to mention any stock brokerages that you may have used) -- it is very possible that your employee stock is not all in one place. For example, spinoff shares may not wind up in the same place as the parent shares.

Members report that a plan administrator or stock brokerage may turn stock over to a state government as unclaimed property -- which can be very difficult to retrieve. (Checking your accounts online every month does not prevent this.)

If you moved your stock to a brokerage other than one used by the company, date and cost basis for each lot will have been lost unless you made a special effort to input your cost basis for each lot.

Different divisions of the same financial companies -- Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, etc. -- have performed stock transfer agent or plan administrator roles at various times for the HP-related companies. This affects how (or if) they track your cost-basis information, how they handle spinoffs, and how (or if) they report transactions in your account to the IRS.

You need to look closely at the full legal name given on the statement for each account to determine the role that the specific account plays in your shareholdings.


(Apr 7, 2024)

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