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How to investigate a retirement benefit plan.

HPAA member advice on looking into a possible lost retirement benefit -- including investigating a Social Security Administration "Potential Private Retirement Benefit" letter.

(Updated Oct 28, 2021.)  Website operated by former employees. Please send comments to info@hpalumni.org

(Be sure you have used the previous page:  Decoding a "Potential Benefit" Letter )


1. Check for lost property.

For example, one member found an HP-related check that had been mailed to a misspelled street address with an incorrect zip code.

Every few years, it is a good idea run an "unclaimed property" search. Companies -- including financial institutions -- are required to turn over unclaimed property to the state after a specific time period, which varies from state to state, as little as two years in some states. Easy to do: https://www.hpalumni.org/Unclaimed


2. Determine which company is currently responsible for the benefit.

HP Breakup. On Nov 1, 2015, the legal name of the Hewlett-PackardCompany was changed to HP Inc. and a new, independent company -- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (no hyphen; singular; green-rectangle logo) -- was spun out. Portions of HPE were later spun out into DXC and Micro Focus, which have spun out other companies. Details: HP Breakup 

HP Inc. is the legal successor to the companies acquired by the Hewlett-Packard Company before the company was split into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.) Responsibility for any commitments to former employees of Autonomy, Compaq, Digital, EDS, Tandem, etc. remain with HP Inc. -- regardless of whether the employee's last business unit ended up in HP Inc. or HPE. This includes employment verification and any retiree health coverage, pension, 401(k), etc. plans.

HPE is responsible for any commitments to former employees of companies acquired by HPE, such as Cray, Nimble, etc.

If the currently responsible company isn't clear. Given HP's complex history of acquisitions, divestitures, and spinoffs, the company or companies that you are legally a former employee of may not be obvious. If any doubt, check here: Which Company

Advice if you worked for certain predecessor companies:

- Compaq. If employed by Compaq prior to May 3, 2005. Plan details and other member advice. Compaq

- Digital. If employed by DEC prior to Mar 1, 1996, you may have a benefit under the HP Cash Account Pension Plan. Plan details and other member advice. Digital

- EDS. If employed by EDS or "EDS, an HP Company" prior to Jan 1, 2009 you may have an EDS pension that you have forgotten about. Plan details and other member advice. EDS

- Tandem. If employed by Tandem prior to Aug 29, 1997. Member advice. Tandem

Other predecessor companies


3. How to contact the current administrators.

1. If you have an existing retirement, 401(k), or personal brokerage account at Fidelity, go to http://netbenefits.com and use your existing username and password. Otherwise, call Fidelity at 1-800-457-4015 -- select "ESPP" -- on any business day (except NYSE holidays) between 8:30 a.m. and midnight Eastern time. Outside the U.S., call 1-508-787-9902 collect.

2. Primary retirement plan contacts:

The HP Retirement Service Center administers pension and 401(k) accounts for HPInc (legal name changed from Hewlett-Packard Company to HP Inc. in 2015.) Also administers any pension or 401(k) accounts that Hewlett-Packard predecessor companies (such as Compaq, Digital, and EDS) may have had. Operated by Fidelity Investments.
1-800-457-4015, M-F 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM Central Time. Outside the U.S., call 1-508-787-9902 collect. Website: https://nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/hp/home

The HPE Retirement Service Center administers pension and 401(k) accounts for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and any plans that HPE's predecessor companies may have had. Operated by Fidelity Investments.1-800-409-4015, M-F 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM Central Time. Outside the U.S., call 1-508-787-9902 collect. Website: https://nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/default/home

3. HSA (Health Savings Account): Contact the appropriate Benefits Center: https://www.hpalumni.org/contacts

4. Deferred compensation:  In addition to using the contact points above, also run an "unclaimed property" search. https://www.hpalumni.org/Unclaimed

5. Stock: No one but you really cares about your employment-related stock. You may now have stock in up to seven HP-related companies. Your stock may not all be in the same place, or be registered to your current postal address. You may need to find stray accounts or retrieve lost stock, dividends, or cash payouts. The IRS does not have the ability to independently determine your cost basis; you may need to estimate it. An HP Alumni team has developed a step-by-step process. https://www.hpalumni.org/stock

6. Surviving spouse provisions -- and other details on the terms of the various HP and HPE plans -- go to: HP and HPE Retirement Plans   Legacy HP Retirement Plans


4. Legal postal contact addresses.

The "Plan Administrator" mailing address on a Social Security notice or a plan document is often no longer valid.

Corporate headquarters for HP and HPE: https://www.hpalumni.org/contacts-corporate


5. Pension plan databases.

U.S. Government Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:
Search PBGC database of insured plans
https://www.pbgc.gov/search-insured-plans

US Department of Labor Pension Report Search:
Search for Form 5500 series returns/reports filed since January 1, 2010. (Won't find very old inactive plans.)
The search tool is designed to home in on the desired plan -- you may need to click the "x" on previous search terms.
https://www.efast.dol.gov/5500search/


6. References.

US Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (ESBA):
"FAQs on SSA Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information" 
https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/faqs/ssa-potential-private-benefit-information-notice.pdf
ESBA Assistance Page
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/about-ebsa/ask-a-question/ask-ebsa

U.S. Government Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:
"Tips for Finding a Lost Pension Benefit"
https://www.pbgc.gov/wr/tips-for-finding-a-lost-pension-benefit
"Finding a Lost Pension"
https://www.pbgc.gov/Documents/finding-a-lost-pension.pdf

Pension Rights Center -- non-profit:
Advice on tracing lost pension plans.
http://www.pensionrights.org/blog/legislation-offers-hope-finding-lost-pensions
"Roadmap to retirement: Switching jobs or retiring"
http://www.pensionrights.org/roadmap-retirement-when-you-leave-job-or-retire


If formerly a regular, direct U.S. employee of HP or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. Membership is also open to heirs with HP-related stock and to those receiving company benefits -- spouses, partners, dependents, DEC and EDS retirees. No charge, thanks to HPAA's Supporting Members.

As financial, legal, and personal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and finances and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided here should be used as a substitute for the personalized advice of competent financial, legal, and personal advisors.


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