Updated: May 24, 2024

How to Recover Lost Retirement Accounts

If you misplaced the account number to your retirement benefits there are services that can help. Use them to recover lost pension accounts and more.
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More than half of Americans are concerned they won't have enough money to retire comfortably, but what if the main reason for this was they'd flat-out lost their retirement accounts? Luckily, there are a number of services available to help people in this situation recover the retirement funds they're entitled to.

One such service is the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits, which has been around since 2005. The registry is a free service that helps both plan participants, their fiduciaries or even former employers track down retirement accounts that, for one reason or another, may have been lost.

The service works in three steps. First, an individual can enter the social security number of the individual they are attempting to recover funds for into the organization's free online database. According to the National Registry, there are tens of thousands cases under which an employee has left a job but has failed to recoup their retirement benefits. Once you've completed your search and determined that you're owed retirement benefits then all you have left to do is contact your employer to get your funds back.

Recover Lost Pension Plans:

The National Registry's services are primarily geared towards those looking to recover lost IRA accounts, though if you're on the hunt for missing pension benefits then the you will have better luck searching for those funds with Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. According to the government agency, there were $133 million worth of unclaimed pension benefits in 2007 owed to 32,000 individuals.

The size of these accounts ranged from just $1 to as much as $611,028, though the average size was about $4,950. At the time, the state with the highest number of missing pension participants was New York, which had 6,885 individuals that had left $37.49 million in pension benefits unclaimed.  Other state included California (2,621 participants owed $8.33 million), Florida (2,058 participants owed $15.27 million) and Texas (2,047 participants owed $11.23 million).

Check out: My Trek To Recover $2,000 in Lost Refunds

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