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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

States with the Highest Number of Unclaimed Pensions. New York (6,678/$40.33 million). Illinois (4,344/$85.36 million). California (2,966/$7.64 million). Texas (2,278/$10.68 million). New Jersey (2,114/$11.70 million). Ohio (1,908/$12.82 million).
The beginning of a new year typically means the onset of new goals and perhaps the continuation of last year's resolutions. For many, saving more money might always be #1 or a close second on that list.

One source of this year's extra savings could be money from an unclaimed pension.

Across the country, there are more than 31,000 people who haven't claimed pension benefits they are owed. Those unclaimed pensions are now north of $280 million, with individual benefits ranging from 12 cents to almost $1 million.

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

  • New York (6,678/$40.33 million)
  • Illinois (4,344/$85.36 million)
  • California (2,966/$7.64 million)
  • Texas (2,278/$10.68 million)
  • New Jersey (2,114/$11.70 million)
  • Ohio (1,908/$12.82 million)

Claiming your pension is easy. Since 1996, we've offered an interactive tool for people who may have lost track of a pension they 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 four to six weeks.

When we establish you're owed a benefit, you may apply for them at any time.

If you are retirement age, after we receive your completed application we'll send your first payment within two months. Others will receive their benefits upon retirement age.

We could be looking for you. Do you think you are one of the more than 31,000 who are owed benefits? Don't write off the money as being missing forever.  The Pension Search Directory can help you find out!

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

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