May 11, 2021 Shares Takeaways From Faegre Drinker Webinar on Managing Missing Participants

In “Updated Guidance on Managing Missing Participants,” summarized a Faegre Drinker webinar, including comments from benefits and executive compensation partners Monica Novak and Gayle Skolnik, on what plan sponsors need to know regarding missing retirement plan participants, particularly due to merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.

Novak discussed several administrative reasons why plans need effective tracking programs, including:

  • The ability to make required distributions.
  • Reducing plan costs for maintaining accounts.
  • Avoiding potential delays to plan terminations.

The publication further covered updated Department of Labor (DOL) guidance, best practices and challenges. For example, Skolnik identified several areas where she routinely sees problems arise, such as failing to keep regular contact with terminated employees or monitor recordkeeper organizations’ tracking programs.

Skolnik also addressed the degree of contact details and tracking history the previous recordkeeper transfers to its successor. She said, “Oftentimes, the records received from the acquired plan are minimal. They’re not very robust, so you have fewer resources to find people, to keep in touch with them and to be able to identify where their benefit came from.”

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