The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently reported that they are holding approximately $300 million in unclaimed pension benefits from private employer pension plans that have been terminated. The PBGC is the federal entity that was created to protect and guarantee retirement benefits for defined benefit pension plans offered by private companies.
Although not as common as they once were, defined pension plans are retirement plans offered by private companies that pay a fixed, monthly amount of money to an employee when they retire. The monthly benefit paid is typically based on the employee's salary and number of years worked at that company. When a company terminates its defined pension plan - usually because the company merged or was acquired or if the company experienced financial distress such as bankruptcy, the PBGC would step in to ensure that the participants of those plans receive a basic level of retirement benefits. The PBGC pays participants of terminated plans with funds collected from the companies with defined pension plans (in the form of insurance premiums), the proceeds generated from its investments, and the funds from terminated plans.
The PBGC said 38,259 people are owed benefits and the medial unclaimed benefit is $670. There are about 44 Million American Workers and Retirees in about 45,000 private sector defined pension plans. Many defined private pension plans are federally insured. Even if a company closed or went bankrupt, it is possible to receive unclaimed benefits. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed largely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and investment returns.
Finding an Unclaimed Pension
You, or someone you know, may be owed a pension. Below are options for searching PBGC's list of pensions that have been earned, but are unclaimed.
PLEASE NOTE: The lists you can search here do not include all people for whom PBGC is holding pensions or information about their pensions. It includes only those people whom PBGC has not yet been able to contact directly.
Transfer to Search
The Unclaimed Money Database is a Fast and Easy Way to See if you have Missing Money that is being held by the Government. You'll instantly search the National Unclaimed Property database. You can also be connected to every State's Unclaimed Property Agency so you can contact them by email or telephone to receive personal service in retrieving your money.
Remember the service is Free and there is a 30% chance that you'll find some Missing Money.