PBGC Urges Participants to Check Unclaimed Pension Directory

August 6, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has $75 million in unclaimed pension benefits the agency is trying to reunite with the 26,000 beneficiaries.

The states with the mostmissing pension participants and money to be claimed are: New York(5,436/$23.55 million), California (2,929/$5.85 million), Texas(1,747/$5.32 million), New Jersey (1,388/$5.30 million ) andPennsylvania (1,321/$4.28 million).   Since the Pension Search Program was launched in 1996, the PBGC has reunited more than 19,000 workers with more than $75 million they were owed (See  PBGC Reunites 15,000 With “Lost” Pension Benefits ).

>Participants wishing to take a crack at the lost pension fund lottery may do so at www.pbgc.gov/search .  The Web site has recently been enhanced with the addition of an automatic e-mail capability in the name of each missing person.  Now individuals named in the Pension Search Directory can send an e-mail to PBGC with basic information, such as a current mailing address and dates of employment, to find out if they are entitled to a missing pension benefit. 

“We urge everyone to check the Pension Search directory on PBGC’s Web site to see if they, a friend or a relative are missing any pension dollars earned during their working years,” said PBGC Executive Director Bradley Belt.  “We want people to get the retirement money they worked so hard to earn.”

>Searchers can also e-mail found@pbgc.gov or missing@pbgc.gov if they believe they are entitled to a benefit.

>Additionally, the nation’s private pension fund insurer said it does not endorse firms that offer to find missing pension benefits for a fee because the information is available free from many sources including the Pension Search directory. PBGC’s booklet “Finding A Lost Pension” also provides tips, suggests potential allies, and details numerous free information sources.

The PBGC said workers should tell their employer when they move or change names, and they should hold on to any pension information they receive from their employers to avoid becoming a missing pension participant.