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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

Sack filled with hundred dollar billsAcross the country, there are more than 38,000 people who haven't claimed pension benefits they are owed. Those unclaimed pensions equal a total of over $300 million dollars, with individual benefits ranging from twelve cents to almost a million dollars.

The states with the most missing pension participants and money to be claimed are:

  • New York (7,031/$42.38 million)
  • Illinois (4,129/$79.63 million)
  • California (3,082/$8.52 million)
  • Texas (2,487/$12.32 million)
  • New Jersey (2,288/$12.84 million)
  • Ohio (2,109/$15.22 million)

Claiming your pension is easy. Since 1996, we've offered an interactive tool for people who may have lost track of a pension earned during their career. This tool allows you to search by last name, company name, or state where the company was headquartered.

What happens if you search and find your name on the list? First, to verify your identity, we'll ask you for more details, including proof of age and other vital statistics. This process generally takes 4-6 weeks.

Then, once we establish that you are the person we owe the benefits, you may apply for them at any time. After we receive your completed application we'll send your first payment within two months, if you're already eligible to receive benefits. If you're entitled to future benefits, you'll begin receiving them when you reach retirement age.

Do you think you are one of the more than 38,000 we're looking for? Don't write off the money as being missing forever.  The Pension Search Directory can help you find out!  

You can also email missing@pbgc.gov if you believe you are entitled to a benefit.

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