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EBSA, PBGC join forces to find missing participants

A joint effort by the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has recovered $1.5 million for missing participants in two terminated Chicago plans, Hartmarx Retirement Income Plan and the United Airlines Ground Employees' Retirement Plan, the agencies announced Thursday.

Officials said more recoveries in the two plans are expected.

Jennifer Messina, PBGC's director of participant services, said in a statement the partnership “has increased our ability to reunite pensioners with their benefits. This collaboration leverages the capabilities of both agencies to fulfill our collective mission to ensure that people receive the pensions they are owed.”

Jeffrey Monhart, EBSA Chicago regional director, said teaming up with the PBGC also enhances efforts to find eligible participants in other plans.

As part of bankruptcy proceedings, PBGC took over the Hartmarx plan when it terminated in 2009, and the United Airlines Ground Employees' Retirement Plan in 2005.

Of the 1,200 missing participants, 100 are 65 or older and eligible to receive benefits.