Getting a Pension Benefit Estimate from PBGC
If you plan to start drawing your PBGC benefit within the next four months, you must ask for an estimate of your benefit amount before you apply for your pension. To calculate your estimate, we'll need to know:
- Your Social Security number,
- Your pension plan's name and case number (found in the upper left of the letters we've sent you),
- The date you plan to start drawing your benefit,
- Information about your spouse, if you are married, and
- Information about any other person who will be getting part of your pension benefit.
How to Request Your Estimate
Use MyPBA, our secure online service, to ask us to send you a benefit estimate. If you've never used MyPBA, it's easy to get started.
Or, request your estimate by email. The address is MyPension@pbgc.gov. In your email, include only the last four digits of your Social Security number; do not send the complete number. You'll also need to include your date of birth, pension plan name, case number, date you want to start your benefit, and beneficiary information. (See bullet points above.)
You can also call us at 1-800-400-7242. TTY/ASCII users, call the federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 1-800-400-7242. To request an estimate over the phone, you'll need to have handy your Social Security number, pension plan name, and case number.
What PBGC Will Send You by Mail
- You should get your pension benefit estimate 15 to 45 days from the date of your request. If it takes longer than 45 days, we will contact you.
- Your pension benefit estimate will tell you the amount you can expect on the date you want your benefits to start.
- We also will tell you how much you would receive under each annuity option (form of benefit) available to you. You can find out about the annuity forms available to you at Your PBGC Benefit Options: Questions and Answers for Participants.
Can I Get an Estimate If I'm Not Ready to Retire?
Yes. Our goal is to calculate benefit estimates within 45 days. Sometimes, however, we get a large number of requests at the same time. When that happens, we first calculate estimates for people who are ready to retire, and then calculate estimates for people who will be retiring in the future. If your estimate takes more than 45 days, we will contact you to let you know when to expect it.
Can I Get My Pension Benefit Estimate Online?
The short answer: No, at least not yet.
Many people ask, "If Social Security can estimate my benefit on its website, why can't PBGC?"
We'd love to provide instant and accurate pension benefit estimates through our online MyPBA service. But so far we haven't found the silver-bullet software that will let us do that. Calculating PBGC pension benefits is a complicated task. Unlike Social Security, we are responsible for more than 4,000 pension plans. Each pension plan has its own rules, provisions, and benefit formulas. To date, we don't have a system that will incorporate all those thousands of variables and produce a quick estimate for you. But for now, we'll be happy to send you a benefit estimate calculated the old-fashioned way.