How do we find out if my dad had a retirement plan?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My dad died in 1963 in a car accident. He had worked at his company for 10 years or more. We all received the insurance from the accident, but how do I find out if he had a retirement plan and if so, what happened to it?

Expert Answer

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

Since your father passed away in 1963, there will not be any IRA or 401(k) accounts. Most of the retirement plans at that time were pension plans.

The easiest way to find out if a deceased person has a pension plan is to go to the website of the government agency, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, at Click the link along the top for "Find Missing Participant". The next page will ask "Who are we looking for?". You can enter either: * your father's last name * the name of the company he worked for * or the state he last lived in

If you find your father's name in one of these lookups, contact the PBGC to find out if his beneficiary(s) are entitled to some benefits. The phone number for the PBGC Customer Contact center is 1-800-400-7242. You will need to provide your father's name, Social Security number, last address and date of death, as well as your personal contact information.