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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 Dec 13, 2021.)  Website operated by volunteers of Hewlett-Packard and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Comments: info@hpalumni.org

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

Here are the steps to follow...

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, completely separate 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 separate companies. Details: HP Breakup 

HP Inc. is the legal successor to the companies acquired by Hewlett-Packard before the company was split into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Responsibility for commitments to former employees of Compaq, EDS, etc. remain with HP Inc. -- regardless of whether their last business unit ended up in HP or HPE. Includes employment verification and any retiree health, pension, etc. plans.

If the currently responsible company isn't clear. Given HP's history of acquisitions and spinoffs, this 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

- DEC. 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. DEC

- 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. Contact the current administrator for the plan in question.

a. 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 1-800-457-4015 (Outside US 1-508-787-9902 collect.) Fidelity (Don't go to a local Fidelity office.)   Member advice

b. Primary retirement plan contacts:

The HP Retirement Service Center is the primary administrator for HP U.S. pension and 401(k) accounts, including any accounts that HP predecessor companies (such as Compaq, DEC, 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: nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/hp/home
(Don't go to a local Fidelity office.)

The HPE Retirement Service Center is the primary administrator for Hewlett Packard Enterprise U.S. pension and 401(k) accounts, including any accounts for employees of companies that HPE acquired since the Nov 1, 2015 HPE spinoff (such as Cray and Nimble.) Operated by Fidelity Investments. 1-800-409-4015 (Outside US 1-508-787-9902 collect.) Fidelity (Don't go to a local Fidelity office.)

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

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

e. Stock: Depending on when and how you acquired HP or HPE stock, you may now have stock in up to six completely separate HP-related companies in various accounts -- or have missed cash payouts. An HP Alumni team has developed a process to determine what stock you should have and how to find it. https://www.hpalumni.org/stock

f. 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. If the current administrator cannot help, contact the appropriate Corporate Headquarters.

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

Current corporate headquarters locations for HP and HPE -- phone and postal addresses: https://www.hpalumni.org/contacts

5. You can look up pensions in the two U.S. government pension plan databases.

U.S. Government Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:
Search PBGC database of 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.

6. References.

US Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (ESBA):
"FAQs on SSA Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information" 
ESBA Assistance Page

U.S. Government Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:
"Tips for Finding a Lost Pension Benefit"
"Finding a Lost Pension"

Pension Rights Center -- non-profit:
Advice on tracing lost pension plans.
"Roadmap to retirement: Switching jobs or retiring"

If formerly a regular, direct U.S. employee of HP or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. No charge, thanks to HPAA's Supporting Members.

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