of Gold: How to Find Your Lost Pension
CONTACT: Judith Welles, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Pastorius, Public Affairs Officer (202) 326-4040
Internet Pension Search, New Guidebook Aid Those Missing Pensions
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced expansion
of its Internet Pension Search in an effort to locate nearly 10,000
people owed more than $19 million in pension benefits. To reconnect
people with missing retirement money, PBGC will now include last-known
addresses of those named in the Pension Search listing and will
provide tips for self-searches for unclaimed pensions in a new guide,
"Finding A Lost Pension."
expanded pension search promises to help more Americans make sure
they will receive all the pension money they earned," said Alexis
M. Herman, Secretary of Labor and Chairman of PBGC's Board of Directors.
Since the last announcement, PBGC has added some 3,000 names and
is now searching for 9,887 people who worked for about 1,400 employers
in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Internet
address for Pension Search is http://search.pbgc.gov.
commitment to retirement income security includes a vigorous program
for locating people who are owed pensions but may not know it. We
want people to receive all the retirement money they are owed and
the new booklet, "Finding a Lost Pension," and last-known addresses
are innovations that improve the odds for a successful pension search,"
said PBGC Executive Director David M. Strauss.
The Pension Search gives names and, for the first time, last-known
addresses of workers who have pension money coming from terminated
defined benefit pension plans. Terminated plans were either closed
by former sponsors who distributed the benefits, or taken over by
PBGC because they lacked enough money to pay benefits. Also included
are unlocated people who may be able to document that they are owed
a benefit, even though current PBGC records show that no benefit
The Pension Action Center at the Gerontology Institute, University
of Massachusetts Boston, partnered with PBGC in developing "Finding
A Lost Pension." The new booklet explains the kinds of information
needed for a search, suggests potential allies and details numerous
information sources. It is available on the Internet at http://www.pbgc.gov
or from PBGC's Communications and Public Affairs Dept., 1200 K St.
NW, Washington, DC 20005-4026.
PBGC works continuously to locate missing people owed pension benefits,
using information from credit bureaus, commercial locator services
and telephone listings. PBGC does not endorse firms that offer to
locate missing pension benefits for a fee because the information
is available free from many sources including the Pension Search
Directory and others listed in "Finding A Lost Pension." To avoid
becoming a missing pension plan participant, workers should tell
their employer when they move and hold on to any pension-related
Once people find their names in the Pension Search Directory, they
provide PBGC further details for verification of identity which
generally takes 4-6 weeks. After PBGC receives a completed application,
people eligible for a benefit begin receiving checks within two
months. Those entitled to future benefits will receive them at retirement
To date, 1,745 people who worked for 520 different employers were
found in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico --
with 421 in California, 153 in New York, 102 in Illinois, and 99
in Texas. Benefits for the located people totalled over $5 million
and ranged from a few dollars to more than $100,000, averaging about
$4,000 per person found.
PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 to guarantee payment of basic pension
benefits earned by about 42 million American workers and retirees
participating in more than 44,000 private-sector defined benefit
pension plans. 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.
- PBGC Pension Search Program, State Data as of July 22, 1999]
the Internet to Find Workers Owed a Pension
on technical support needs in using this page to: Webmaster@pbgc.gov