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Getting a Pension Benefit Estimate from PBGC

Getting a Pension Benefit Estimate from PBGC

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 benefits 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 benefit estimates is a complicated task. Unlike Social Security, which has just one plan, 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. If you are ready to begin your PBGC benefit, you will need to request a benefit estimate, and your request will receive priority. If you are not yet eligible to receive your benefit, you may also request an estimate, which may take several months to prepare.

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.

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

Through MyPBA

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.

By Phone

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.