In the United States, if a pensioner never claims his or her defined benefit pension entitlement, the ownership of the underlying assets remains with the institution holding those assets. Thus, the employer of an ongoing pension plan, the PBGC, or the insurance company ultimately claims the money. For employers, the claim takes the form of lower required contributions due to the larger assets in the pension fund. The tax expenditures incorporated in these benefits were provided for the public policy purpose of encouraging the provision of pension benefits. While there is an excise tax on plan assets that revert to the plan sponsor when a plan is terminated, there is no recovery by the government of tax on assets that “revert” to the plan sponsor because they are never claimed. In a defined contribution plan, the money belongs to the worker or to the worker’s estate. It does not revert to the employer. If it is unclaimed, the pension administrator can discharge his fiduciary obligation to the former worker by establishing an Individual
Retirement Account (IRA) in the worker’s name at a financial institution. Some states
have claimed that after a certain number of years unclaimed money in defined
contribution pension accounts would escheat to the state (i.e., to one of the 50 states).
The Department of Labor has held, however, that state laws are preempted by the federal
ERISA pension legislation and that unclaimed defined contribution pension accounts
cannot escheat to the state but must remain unclaimed, with the hope that eventually the
former worker or his beneficiaries will claim the funds. The law in this area is unsettled
and further clarification in the future can be expected.
In the United States, there is some evidence on the magnitude of the problem
through data on federal government pensions. Between 1989 and 1997, more than $1
billion in pension checks to retired federal government workers were not cashed (Caplin


Search For Lost Pensions in the United States

Lost Pensions in the United States The problem of lost pensions in the United States is primarily a problem with defined benefit plans because these plans were the dominant type of plan a decade and more ago. The problem tends to arise less with defined contribution plans because when a worker changes jobs the account [...]

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Tips On Tracing Lost Money

Millions of pounds lie unclaimed in ‘forgotten’ accounts, while its owners are unaware that this money is waiting for them to collect. Could this be you? If you’ve changed address or your name, you might have lost touch with bank or building society accounts, shares or premium bonds. Childhood accounts or saving plans can easily [...]

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Treasury Unclaimed Moneys

The Unclaimed Moneys Account (20X6133) is one of 92 Treasury Managed Accounts. The account balances listed below have been identified by agency. The balances are to be reviewed and confirmed to Treasury on a quarterly basis. Description Agency Responsibility Schedule Description: The balance of account 20X6133 should represent only moneys which when claimed, are unequivocally [...]

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State Credit Unions Unclaimed Funds / Money

Alabama State Treasury Unclaimed Property Division 600 Dexter Avenue, Room S-106 Montgomery, Alabama 36104 Phone No. (888) 844-8400 Fax No. (334) 242-7592 Email: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division Unclaimed Property Program P.O . Box 110420 Juneau, AK 99811-0420 Phone No. (907) 465-3726 Fax No. (907) 465-2394 Email: Arizona Department of Revenue Unclaimed Property Unit P.O. [...]

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National Credit Union Unclaimed Deposits

Unclaimed Deposits If you believe NCUA may be holding funds for you please contact the Asset Management and Assistance Center. Listing of Unclaimed Deposits – ( PDF 40KB – Bookmarks are listed by last name) Why does NCUA have unclaimed deposits? When a credit union with federal insurance is liquidated, NCUA’s Asset Management and Assistance [...]

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Did you know? Each year, 25,000 payments are returned to the Department of the Treasury as undeliverable. Billions of dollars in savings bonds have stopped earning interest, but haven’t been cashed. Treasury Hunt tells you about savings bonds no longer earning interest. If you still have these savings bonds, cash or reinvest them so your [...]

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Unclaimed Money and Assets

IMPORTANT: There is no governmentwide, centralized information service or database on how unclaimed government assets may be obtained. Each individual federal agency maintains its own records. 1. How can I find out if the government has unclaimed money or property that may be mine? To determine whether any unclaimed funds are being held by the [...]

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Unclaimed Funds Databases

Bureau of Public Debt: $5.9 billion – Unredeemed U.S. Savings Bonds Internal Revenue Service: $72 million – Undeliverable 1998 income tax refunds Social Security Administration: $500 million annually in uncashed benefit checks U.S. Postal Service: $25+ million/year – Uncashed Postal Money Orders FDIC: $400 million – Unclaimed deposits from failed banks NCUA: $200 million – [...]

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Locate Lost Bank Accounts and Unclaimed Property

First, make a list of every state in which you’ve ever lived and all the jobs you’ve ever held. Include all the names you’ve ever used. Write down the maiden names of your wife, mother, grandmother, granddaughter or other female relatives? Write down common misspellings of all your names. Next, make a list of all [...]

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