Unclaimed Pensions Top $300 Million

It’s easy to find out whether you’re one of the 38,000 people who haven’t claimed pension benefits owed to them: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation offers an online search directory.

More than 38,000 U.S. residents have not claimed pension benefits they are owed. Their unclaimed pensions amount to more than $300 million dollars, with individual benefits ranging from 12 cents to almost $1 million, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation announced last week. In a post on the federal agency's blog, these six states were listed as having the most missing pension participants and money to be claimed:

  • New York (7,031 people/$42.38 million)
  • Illinois (4,129/$79.63 million)
  • California (3,082/$8.52 million)
  • Texas (2,487/$12.32 million)
  • New Jersey (2,288/$12.84 million)
  • Ohio (2,109/$15.22 million)

PBGC has offered an online directory since 1996 so people who may have lost track of a pension earned during their careers can check by entering last name, company name, or the state where a former employer was headquartered. If you search and find your name on the list, the agency will ask for proof of age and other vital statistics. "This process generally takes 4-6 weeks. Then, once we establish that you are the person we owe the benefits, you may apply for them at any time. After we receive your completed application we'll send your first payment within two months, if you're already eligible to receive benefits. If you're entitled to future benefits, you'll begin receiving them when you reach retirement age," the Jan. 14 blog post stated.

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