Lost Pension and Unclaimed Retirement Benefits Search
|Defined Benefit Pensions: Pension plan administrators make little
effort to locate lost employees or missing
beneficiaries who have moved or changed name over the
years, and companies owing unclaimed pension benefits
may have moved, change name or merged, making them
difficult to find.
Because many private pension plans are federally insured, even if a company dissolved or went bankrupt it may be possible to receive unclaimed benefits.
401 (k) Plans: Each year some 33,000 workers fail to claim or rollover $850 million in 401(k) retirement plan assets. A disproportionate share of the missing are former employees of failed smaller companies, which, when they cease operations, may not provide or plan for administration of employee 401k plan assets.
Retirement funds invested in 401(k) and other defined-contribution retirement plans belong to the employee, so 401k plan participants are protected when an employer files for bankruptcy or otherwise ceases business. Because plan assets continue to earn interest and accumulate capital gains, amounts that can be reclaimed may now be quite substantial.
The financial institutions holding the funds - banks and brokerages appointed by the plan administrator - make little if any effort to locate lost employees and missing participants, because by law their responsibility is to the company.