PBGC.gov is protecting pensions across the United States

A montage of finance and retirement-related terms is pictured. With the blizzard of choices out there for finding unclaimed money, PBGC.gov makes it easy for retirees to collect forgotten pensions.

PBGC.gov is the federal source for retirees and long-term workers who may have unclaimed pension money waiting. (Photo: ThinkStock)

During a recession, websites like PBGC.gov are priceless, particularly for experienced workers and retirees. Leave it to “The Early Show” to clue America in to how to find lost, missing or otherwise unclaimed money. The show recently pointed out to viewers that there is $33 billion in missing money out there, and sites like MissingMoney.com and Unclaimed.org can help people find any that may belong to them. Those sites focus on things like unclaimed money from bank accounts, stock dividends, annuities, overpayments, insurance refunds and the like. However, PGBC.gov is a bit different. The Public Benefit Guaranty Corporation helps those who have had a long work history collect any unclaimed pension money that’s floating around.

PBGC.gov works with a 1974 law

Workers who visit PBBC.gov will find that the website works in conjunction with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This federal law protects the pension funds of “over 44 million American workers and retirees in more than 29,000 private single-employer and multi-employer defined benefit pension plans,” says the site. Funding for the Public Benefit Guaranty Corporation does not come from debt settlement relief or tax revenue, but by insurance premiums set by Congress and paid for by the sponsors of benefit plans, investment income and other pension assets and recoveries from former pension sponsors.

The PBGC guarantees most pensions

Even many pensions that went bankrupt or closed my fall under the protection of the PBGC, says PBGC.gov. Thus, American workers who have accrued pensions over a long work history that included numerous career stops should pay attention if they aren’t sure about whether they’re due pension monies. A move, a change of job or anything else that could have made it difficult for old employers to contact you could mean there’s missing money waiting. Furthermore, PBGC.gov can come in handy for experienced workers and retirees if their former companies merged or went out of business.

Exercise caution with your private data

It should be noted that representatives of the PBGC will not contact retirees or long-time workers independently. Each person interested in finding out whether PBGC.gov has unclaimed money for them should contact the organization directly, as some scams have been noted in the media. Thus, careful handling of things like a personal address or social security number is advisable. Unscrupulous scam artists posing as either PBGC.gov employees or agents of retirees’ former places of employment have muddied the waters. Consumers should go to PBGC.gov on their own to find any lost or missing money to which they may be due.

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