Missing Participant Locating Services

Posted by BAS - 09 October, 2014


The Department of Labor issued guidance on what steps must be taken to find missing plan participants upon a retirement plan termination. 

When a retirement plan terminates, the plan often holds accounts for participants who can no longer be found at their last known address.  The Internal Revenue Service used to offer a letter-forwarding service to help locate missing participants and beneficiaries, but recently stopped providing this service. 

The Department of Labor issued guidelines on the minimum steps a retirement plan fiduciary (generally the employer) should take to find a missing participant upon the termination of a retirement plan.

Send a notice using certified mail.
Check the records of the employer or any related plans of the employer.
Send an inquiry to the designated beneficiary of the missing participant.
Use free electronic search tools. 

Employers should take note of the suggested steps in case plan participants go missing.

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