Your pension can be an awfully big pot of money that you and your employer set aside for your retirement. So it's kind of amazing how often people lose track of their pensions. Or maybe not so amazing. After all, when you spend four or five decades in the workforce, moving from employer to employer, it's not hard to lose records for a pension you started many years ago. Add to that the fact that companies merge, break up, change names or simply disappear through bankruptcy...and the situation gets even more complex.
Happily, there are are several tools you can use to track down a missing pension fund. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC, the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits (NRURB) and a few other online and offline resources can help you lay claim to any retirement money and pensions that are owed to you. And don't forget...next of kin can also claim pensions for a deceased worker, so it's worth searching for missing accounts if you're an heir.
Need more information? Newspaper archives are one of the best online research tools. If you're searching for information on people, try Intelius.