DISCUSSION PAPER PI-0113
Lost Pensions, Lost Pensioners: Is a National Registry of
Pension Plans the Answer?
David Blake and John Turner
In the United States and other countries, many retirees face great difficulties
in tracing their former employers in order to apply for a pension to which they
are entitled. At the same time, pension plans have trouble tracking down
pensioners with whom they have lost contact. The problem of lost pensions
and lost pensioners was also prevalent in the United Kingdom, but in 1991 the
British government established a national registry of pension plans financed by
a levy on all registered pension plans. The registry is cheap to run (equivalent to
$0.20 per member per annum) and has helped thousands of people receive their
pension entitlements. This solution should be considered in the US and other
countries with similar problems.