There was a participant who moved away.
Where has he gone? He didn’t say.
Our paths never cross.
And now he’s lost.
He’s due some money. But how can I pay?
Especially for plans that have a period of delay prior to distributing participant balances, it is only a matter of time before you may come across a former participant with a vested balance that you are unable to contact. When mail comes back as undeliverable, and the phone number on record no longer belongs to the former employee, what further action is required? Finding missing participants can be a challenge. Fortunately there are guidelines for a fiduciary to follow and your third party administrator is happy to assist with the process.
First, check the plan document. This advice rings true for just about every issue that may arise with a qualified retirement plan. Your plan document may include the steps to be taken to locate a lost participant and the steps to be taken if the participant cannot be found.