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- The Missing Participant Problem
- What is a Missing Participant?
- Why Plan Sponsors Should be Concerned
- What Causes Missing Participants?
- The Magnitude of the Problem
- What Regulations Apply to Missing Participants?
- Sources of Uncertainty for Plan Sponsors
- Best Practices for Finding Missing Participants
- What to Look For in a Search Service
- Learn More About Missing Participants
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Sources of Uncertainty for Plan Sponsors
- Lack of Guidance: The most recent guidance from the Department of Labor in January 2021, while very helpful in identifying a range of best practices, does not establish "bright line" rules that plan sponsors can follow.
- Inconsistent Enforcement Positions: Plan sponsors claim to receive inconsistent enforcement actions during audits, including extreme requirements to “keep searching every year, indefinitely” and to “do whatever it takes” including contacting former co-workers and family, or to notify participants of audit actions.
- Fiduciary Risk: Failure to locate missing participants can result in increased penalties, risk of plan audits and potentially – a breach of fiduciary duty.
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