Lost Participants with Pension Benefit Balances Get PBGC Help

April 3, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The nation's private-sector pension insurer has $133 million in its coffers belonging to 32,000 people owed pension benefits from terminated plans who the agency can't find.

A news release from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) said individual benefits range from $1 to $611,028 and average about $4,950. The states with the most missing pension participants and money to be claimed, according to the PBGC are:

  • New York, (6,885/$37.49 million),
  • California (3,081/$7.38 million),
  • New Jersey (2,209/$12.05 million),
  • Texas (1,987/$6.86 million),
  • Pennsylvania (1,944/$9.56 million),
  • Illinois (1,629/$8.75 million); and
  • Florida (1,629/$7.14 million). 

Using the PBGC Pension Search directory ( www.pbgc.gov/search ) people can search by their last name, company name, or state where the company was headquartered.

Once PBGC is contacted by people who find their names in the directory, PBGC asks them to provide more details including proof of age and other vital statistics. The identification process generally takes four to six weeks. After PBGC receives a completed application, people currently eligible for a benefit should receive their checks within two months.

The PBGC’s booklet “Finding a Lost Pension” also provides tips, suggests potential allies, and details numerous free from information sources.

The booklet is available on PBGC’s web site ( http://www.pbgc.gov/docs/Finding_A_Lost_Pension.pdf ) or by writing the PBGC Communications and Public Affairs Department,1200 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20005-4026.