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Unclaimed Pension & Retirement Benefits

unclaimed pension Missing IRA - Lost 401k - Unclaimed Pension Search
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, merged or gone bankrupt, making them difficult to trace.

To further complicate matters, unclaimed pension benefits generally will not show up in state unclaimed property databases, and in many cases pension obligations have been transferred to a successor company after a merger or reorganization.

Because many private pension plans are federally insured, even if a company dissolved or went bankrupt it may be possible to receive unclaimed benefits. Furthermore, the Retirement Equity Act of 1984 provides for benefits to be paid to surviving spouses. Spouses of deceased workers who did not opt out, therefore, should initiate a search if they feel they may be entitled to benefits not received.

The Pension Search Program, initiated in 1996, attempts to locate those entitled to unclaimed pension benefits. As of January 2008, 32,000 missing workers are eligible to claim $133 million in pension benefits from terminated defined benefit pension plans. The maximum payout is currently set at $4,500.00 per month.

If you have reason to believe you are entitled to an unclaimed pension, either as the employee or spouse, but have had no contact with the company and have not received payment, go to Lost Pension Search

Note the rules for IRA and 401(k) retirement plans are different.

About 2% of 401(k) plan assets - roughly $850 million owned by 33,000 workers - are 'orphaned' each year For assistance tracing a missing 401 k go to: Unclaimed 401k Search

50 million Americans have an IRA, including Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and Education (Coverdell) IRAs; as well as SEP (Simplified Employee Pensions) and SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) Retirement Plans. The current total value of Individual Retirement Accounts is estimated at $3 trillion. For assistance claiming a lost IRA go to: Missing IRA Search

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