Records on two million former Civil Service workers are not automated, but rather stored in some 35,000 file cabinets by alphabetical order. Because these government employee records at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Retirement Operations Center are not computerized, it is virtually impossible to determine when a federal retirement benefit goes unclaimed and unpaid.
Furthermore, because unclaimed retirement funds are not declared abandoned unless unclaimed by the employee’s 115th birthday or 30 years after death; but virtually no effort is made to find lost employees owed government pension benefits.
Unclaimed federal retirement benefits include Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) distributions, a defined-contribution plan similar to a 401(K) created by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 to supplement Federal Employees Retirement System benefits. Currently 4.5 million civilian employees in all branches of government, U.S. Postal Service employees and members of the uniformed services are owed $313 billion in TSP plan assets.
For a search of the Thrift Savings Plan Lost Participant database and recovery information on unclaimed federal retirement funds and benefits, complete the form below.