As you already know, many employers offer retirement benefits to their employees. Some might even match the contributions you make to your retirement account. But if you’ve ever changed careers at some point, you might have left behind some benefits.

Another scenario is that your employer goes out of business. In the ensuing frenzy to find another job, many people overlook their retirement benefits or assume they went up in smoke with the former employer. Not so!

And yes, some people do actually forget about this – especially benefits from jobs many years ago.

So, is it possible you have unclaimed retirement benefits out there somewhere? If you suspect this might be the case, you can take the following actions to find out.

  1. Contact your former employer. If they’re still in business, simply contacting their human resources department should give you an answer.
  2. If your former employer transferred your plan elsewhere, or the company no longer exists, you can search the Department of Labor’s abandoned plan database.
  3. For those who were formerly on pension plans, you can search the US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp database to learn whether they have an unclaimed pension in your name.
  4. And finally, you can simply search the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits to see if any money is owed to you.
  5. If you’re a veteran, get more information from the Veteran’s Affairs pension site.

Remember to search for both your own unclaimed benefits, as well as those of your spouse. If your spouse is deceased you might still be able to claim their assets.

If something does turn up, what would you do with the unexpected windfall? Give us a call to discuss your options, and we’ll help you put together a retirement plan that suits your lifestyle and goals.