Once participants have left the company, it can be easy to lose track of them. Many ESOP’s have distribution policies which delay the time period before distributions begin. It’s possible for these former employees to maintain balance in the ESOP for five or more years after their termination of employment before they are eligible to request a distribution. There are several important reasons to keep track of these participants. Terminated participants’ balances are factored into some compliance testing and dealing with lost participants years down the road can become a headache quickly.