Thu 18 Jun, 2009 09:17 pm
I'm in the hunt for an unclaimed pension for my father, who was employed from 1950 to 1961, with the company formerly known as the U.S. Rubber Company. I've checked a number of the usual sources, including the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation and a number of what I thought might be the successor companies to the U.S. Rubber Company including: Dunlop, Uniroyal, Firestone, Goodyear, Wingfoot and even Locheed Martin. Contacts with these benefit departments reflect no record of my father's employment, mostly since it does not appear as though any of these companies are the successor plan administrators of my father's pension plan.
I'm pretty sure that my father's pension can't be a whole heck of a lot, but now after 20 years post-retirement, even if his benefit was $50 or $100 per month - that might amount to something, although he's far from destitute and in desparate need of the money. I'm not even sure if he was vested in a pension, or whether a defined benefit pension plan was even offered by his company. I know that current plan rules vest employees after 5 years, and the prior length of time until vesting was 10 years, but back in 1961 (I was seven years old then), I can't even begin to speculate on what the vesting rules were.
Mostly, I'm kind of hoping that a former U.S. Rubber Company employee (or relative), will see this posting and contact me with the name of the current plan administrator (if one exists at all). Alternately, anybody having substantive suggestions beyond what I've already tried and researched (and I've researched a good amount so far), feel free to weigh-in. Thanks!
Did you try Michelin? I ran across your post looking for info on the US Rubber Co. My father worked there in the 1950's, but has been dead many years now. I found some brief info in wikipedia, that's how I found out about Michelin. My father worked somewhere in SE Asia during that time,and I was trying to find out where. Good luck with your search. Cindy
Cindy - Thanks for the suggestion. To the best of my knowledge, there is no indication in my research whatsoever that Michelin might have been the successor company to the U.S. Rubber Company. For that reason, while it's a good lead, I'm disinclined to pursue this unless I hear from somebody else that they have some more factual information that this is a trail worth pursuing. Thanks.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no indication in my research whatsoever that Michelin might have been the successor company to the U.S. Rubber Company.
Google is your friend, had you tried " Michelin" AND " U.S. Rubber Company" you would have found: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/United_States_Rubber_Company#encyclopedia
as the #2 result.
Michelin does indeed now own what remains of the U.S Rubber Company assets. Whether they are responsible for the pension liabilities is doubtful however.
Although this original posting is more than two years old, I thought others might conceivably benefit from some follow-on information I was able to obtain - which finally brought this question to closure.
After a short, but reasonably thorough effort at researching this question myself, I finally "folded my cards" and sought the help of a higher power. Consequently, I enlisted my father's elected senatorial representative - to see whether they could tip a few windmills for me, principally with the folks at the Department of Labor (who up until this time had been harder to pin down for an answer to my question than finding a Snickers bar at a Weight Watchers convention).
After an overly long wait, I finally did get an answer from the office of the senior senator from Arizona. It turns out that U.S. Rubber was acquired first by Uniroyal - and then subsequently by Michelin USA. Some of this "hand-changing" probably explains my earlier problem in getting to ground truth in my own research and my telephone canvass. Short story, the word came down from Michelin that under existing ERISA rules and the pension plan documentation in force at the time my father was employed, while my father did meet the ten year vesting provision - he did not meet the 40 year age threshold at the time he terminated his employment. So no additional pension annuity for my father from U.S. Rubber, but fortunately even at age 86 - he's still reasonably self-sufficient financially. Hope others benefit from this posting and thanks to all who contributed some pretty good suggestions.