Locating Lost Pension Plan Participants
Two decades after completing a major acquisition, a Fortune 500 energy services company was still dealing with the numerous pension plans it had inherited in the deal. Though long closed to new participants, the frozen plans had amassed a backlog of over 300 participants who were overdue to commence benefits. More than 40% of the lost participants were over 65, the age at which benefits should have commenced under the plans, and more than 20% were past the IRS required minimum distribution (RMD) age. Not only do plan sponsors face stiff penalties for RMD violations, but the backlog of lost participants was requiring extensive research efforts for the company which lead to additional costs. To make matters worse, the remaining 40% of the missing participants were deceased, making it even harder to track down beneficiaries.