How Do I Get My Profit Sharing After the Company Closes?

Profit sharing is a corporate incentive program, based on a company's profitability, through which compensation is placed in an account that pays employees either directly or indirectly. Direct payments come as bonuses, while indirect payments may be in a retirement plan. Profit-sharing plans are tax-deferred savings programs and the amount an employee gets is determined by her base salary. When the company you work for closes, you want to make sure you get what you're owed. There are several people and agencies you can contact to do so.

Call or visit the profit-sharing plan administrator, if possible. There may no longer be any human resources personnel to contact, but your most recent profit-sharing statement should have information on the firm managing the profit-sharing assets. Call and ask how the company closure affects your profit-sharing benefits. Request all forms to roll over, transfer or otherwise get the assets under your control.

Call or visit a union representative or the bankruptcy trustee--if your company went bankrupt--to learn more about how bankruptcy may affect your profit sharing benefits. Union representatives will be able to provide a better picture of what is owed to you and how the union can help you get your money. Profit-sharing assets defined by union agreements must be paid.

Contact the Department of Labor or the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (see Resources) if you believe you have not gotten the profit-sharing benefits owed to you. If your employer is completely insolvent and unable to pay defined benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits under PBGC from an insurance policy maintained to protect benefits.

Call a labor and employment attorney if your company fails to provide you with the pension benefits owed to you.


  • It may be difficult to get profit sharing paid as bonuses if a company closes. Many companies close as a result of poor profits and may not have the financial resources for the benefits. If the company filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there may not be any profits for employees to share. However, if the company closed as a result of owner retirement, there may still be profits to pay out in the final accounting.

    While retirement pensions are protected by the federal government, they can be affected by Chapter 7 bankruptcy because the plan will no longer accrue benefits. Employees may no longer be able to get the maximum benefits they were expecting from defined benefits programs in bankruptcy.