How to find unclaimed pension money using PBGC.gov
Posted by mandyf on December 13, 2012
PBGC.gov (Public Benefit Guaranty Corporation) helps people find lost money. This is not a scam site aimed at getting your private information, nor is it a site that is going to request any money from you to provide their services. This is a legitimate organization which was designed to operate under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in 1974 to make sure that every individual that has money coming to them for their retirement gets that money.
The concept of the site is simple in that it matches your information to the information in their database to see if you have any outstanding funds owed to you which have gone unclaimed. The thing about the PBGC is that they are not all encompassing regarding any form of unclaimed money. They specifically deal with money in various pension/retirement plans which have gone unclaimed.
While many people assume that they already know every penny they are due and have no need for such a service – think again. In the past 30 plus years it has become increasingly common for people to change jobs. Not everyone realizes that even in jobs they may have worked very briefly, they may have unknowingly paid into a pension plan. A person may assume that because a company they worked for went out of business or was sold that anything paid into a pension was lost.
Another overlooked issue is that people often forget if they do not update things like change of address or perhaps a changed name with each employer they have paid into a pension fund with, they may not be able to locate you – even with your social security number. It may seem hard to believe, but it happens. When funds paid to an individuals pension accounts slip through the cracks, are forgotten by the individual, or have somehow changed hands a few times through corporate sales and mergers, PBGC is the one place that is keeping track of it all.
Here is the real skinny on PNGC – they are not going to contact you to make sure you get money owed to you. It is wholly your responsibility to actively request an unclaimed money search. They are not going to ask you for anything more than your last name, the company you are searching, and the state you were employed in. They will not request your address, phone number, social security number, or anything other than the above three points of reference.
Everyone is cautioned to take extreme care should they be contacted by anyone claiming to be from the PBGC or working for a company that works in conjunction with the PBGC. Any contacts with the PBGC that you did not personally initiate should be considered a phishing attempt. The sure tip offs that you have been targeted by a scammer using the PBGC name are that they contacted you for starters, they will usually request personally identifying information, and they will almost always request a processing fee. Also note the address of the sender – PBGC is a .Gov address, not a ,Com or .Org.
To find out if you may have unclaimed funds waiting for you, visit PBGC.gov and follow their simple steps. They also provide a wealth of supporting information regarding what to do in case funds for a deceased family member have gone unclaimed and countless other scenarios in a comprehensive yet concise and easy to follow manner.