Unclaimed Pension Benefits
How Much of the $133 Million Is Yours?

American dollar bill with pieces missing. Are you missing pension money?On April 3, 2007, The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) reported that it is holding $133 million in unclaimed pension benefits for 32,000 Americans. The unclaimed money is for those who invested in defined benefit pension plans that have been terminated.

Some of it might be yours!

Individuals are owed from $1 to $611,028. The average unclaimed benefit is $4,950.The table below shows the states with the most pension participants and money to be claimed.

StateNumber of PeopleAmount Owed
New York6,885$37.49 million
California2,621$7.38 million
New Jersey2,209$12.05 million
Texas1,987$6.86 million
Pennsylvania1,944$9.56 million
Illinois1,629$8.75 million
Florida1,629$7.14 million

The Pension Search directory lists about 6,600 companies. Most are in the following industries. . .
  • airlines
  • steel
  • transportation
  • machinery
  • retail
  • apparel
  • financial services
When these pension funds were closed, not all former workers could be traced. Other money left with PBGC comes from underfunded pension plans.

PBGC warns that paying someone
to help you get this money back is unnecessary.

The searches are free
and PBGC does not charge a fee to return the money.

PBGC offers a free booklet to help people claim their money. You can download Finding A Lost Pension or get it by writing to

PBDC Communications and Public Affairs Department,
1200 K St., NW,
Washington, DC 20005-4026.

You can also search online to see if you qualify for any of the money. Go to www.pbgc.gov/search. If you don't have Internet access at home, you can use a computer at a public library or senior's center. You can also email found@pbgc.gov or missing@pbgc.gov.

You will be asked a series of questions needed to identify you. Once you are verified,. . .usually within 6 weeks,. . . you can expect a cheque within two months.

You can begin your search before you retire.

Be sure you notify all former employers and pension plans when you move, so your details are kept up to date.

Remember that if someone offers to find this money for a fee, you are talking to the wrong person. If any of this money belongs to you, it is yours without fee.