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Esta página no ha sido traducida. Por favor vaya a la página principal del sitio de español de PBGC para ver información disponible en español.

Tips for finding an unclaimed retirement benefit

Have you lost track of a retirement benefit that you earned during your working career? Read PBGC’s guide on Unclaimed retirement benefits to find out more.  

If you haven’t checked PBGC’s database of unclaimed retirement benefits, that is a good place to start. If you are not in PBGC’s unclaimed retirement benefit database, you can find information about your pension plan that may help you locate your benefit through the following resources:

For ongoing pension plans insured by PBGC

Search Plans Paying PBGC Premiums to see if your plan is currently insured by PBGC.

Please contact the administrator at the phone number listed in the database. If you need further assistance, contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration with the Department of Labor.

For terminated pension plans trusteed by PBGC

Search PBGC’s Trusteed Plan search to see if PBGC took responsibility for your (trusteed) pension plan. Once you find your plan, read What to do before contacting PBGC to learn about next steps.

For retirement plans in PBGC’s Missing Participants Program

Search PBGC’s two databases of retirement plans in the Missing Participants Program. Plans either 1) transfer unclaimed benefits to PBGC or 2) purchase annuities from an insurance company on behalf of participants with unclaimed benefits.

If you do not find your plan in PBGC’s databases, it may be that:

Your pension plan is a multiemployer plan – PBGC does not have information on individuals in multiemployer plans.
Your plan is not a defined benefit plan. PBGC only insures defined benefit plans. For information about other types of retirement plans visit the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

If you are not sure whether your plan was a defined benefit plan, there are documents you may have received that can help you. Read Important documents to learn about these documents and how they can help you find a lost benefit.
Your pension plan ended in a standard termination. In a standard termination, the plan sponsor either buys an annuity contract for each participant or pays a lump sum for the full value of the benefit. If you think you have an unpaid benefit from a plan that ended in a standard termination, visit What to do before contacting PBGC to learn which documents you will need to provide for PBGC to research your inquiry. 


Both PBGC and the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL/EBSA) help people find unpaid retirement benefits. However, the scope of EBSA’s assistance is different from PBGC’s:

PBGC Helps Find

  • Unpaid benefits in a defined benefit plan that ended and is trusteed by PBGC
  • Unpaid benefits in a defined benefit plan that ended in a standard termination
  • Unpaid benefits in the Missing Participant program

EBSA Helps

  • Answer questions regarding benefits in an ongoing defined benefit plan
  • Find unpaid benefits in a defined contribution plan
  • Find an unlocatable annuity contract

EBSA Contact Information

Contact EBSA via telephone at 1-866-444-3272 or message EBSA through their website:

General information about EBSA and employee benefits:

Other Resources

If you need legal help obtaining your benefit, you can request free legal assistance from the federally funded Pension Counseling and Information Program. This program, sponsored by the Administration for Community Living, currently funds six regional offices.

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