You can search your name, your employer or the state where a pension is based at pbgc.gov. For an example of what's available, the agency is holding benefits for several former employees of the defunct Haussner's Restaurant. You can file a benefit claim online or call 800-400-7242.

Maybe you have lost track of a 401(k) or traditional pension that's still up and running. For help in reconnecting, call the Employee Benefits Security Administration's participant assistance office at 866-444-3272.

Missing refunds Every year, the U.S. Postal Service returns a small percentage of tax refunds to the Internal Revenue Service as undeliverable, usually because the taxpayer moved. The IRS releases the names to media outlets each November. (Last year, the IRS tried to track down 1,670 Marylanders who were owed more than $2.1 million.)

"That money is earmarked," says Jim Dupree, the IRS spokesman in Baltimore. "We hold that until we find you or you find us."

If you haven't received your refund for 2010, check Where's My Refund? at irs.gov. Or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Mature savings bonds Depending on the series, savings bonds mature in 20 to 40 years. After that, they stop earning interest. As of the end of June, the amount of matured bonds totaled $16.2 billion, reports the Bureau of Public Debt.

Some people don't cash matured bonds because they're waiting for an emergency. Or they don't want to pay federal tax on the interest earned — a poor financial move, because they won't get their principal back until the bond is redeemed. But others have forgotten about the bonds a grandparent bought for them decades ago.

You can search online for matured bonds — Series E and certain others — issued in 1974 and later on the Treasury Hunt page of treasurydirect.gov. The site will ask for your contact information if it uncovers something, and a customer service representative will be in touch, says Joyce Harris, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Public Debt.

To redeem a bond that is lost, stolen or destroyed, fill out Form 1048, also available on the site.

Heirs, too, can redeem a bond if the original owner is deceased, but only "if they can prove they are the rightful owners," Harris says.

Holocaust claims The New York Banking Department helps Holocaust victims and their heirs to recover lost or stolen property. As of late last year, the department's Holocaust Claims Processing Office reported assisting in the return of 49 works of art and $154 million in other assets, such as bank deposits and insurance proceeds. Contact the office at claims.state.ny.us/index.htm or at 800-695-3318.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com