Upper Midwest Pension Rights Project finds "lost" pension plan
There are many details to keep track of when companies are bought or sold, and sometimes a company's pension plan can fall through the cracks. The company Jack* was employed by for more than 20 years was sold and later spun off into an independent entity. Jack had kept track of the company so he knew where to go when it is was time for him to claim his pension. But even though Jack had kept track of the company, the company had not kept track of him – the company had no record of Jack’s more than 20 years of employment and told Jack that he was not entitled to a pension.
Sure that he had earned a pension, but not knowing what action to take next, Jack turned to the staff of the Upper Midwest Pension Rights Project for help. Using their knowledge of how to track down “lost" pension plans, staff of the Upper Midwest Pension Rights Project researched the ownership history of the company and were able to locate the new company. Once the Upper Midwest Pension Rights Project staff contacted the proper department, the company found records confirming Jack’s employment record. As a result of the work of the staff of the Upper Midwest Pension Rights Project, Jack is now receiving a monthly pension with a total value of more than $28,000.
*For privacy reasons, the name of the person featured in this story has been changed.
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A defined benefit plan is a pension plan, usually funded entirely by employer contributions, that pays benefits according to a formula. The formula is typically based on the participant's wages or salary and length of time spent working for an employer or group of employers. Defined benefit plans are also known as traditional or guaranteed pensions.