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Missing Participants or Beneficiaries

Plan sponsors, administrators and qualified termination administrators (QTAs) sometimes need to locate missing participants or beneficiaries. For example, correction of a plan failure under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) may require payment of additional benefits to terminated participants. See Revenue Procedure 2013-12, Section 6.02(5)(d) for plan correction principles relating to lost participants.

Previously, the IRS provided letter-forwarding services to help them locate missing plan participants, but with the August 31, 2012, release of Revenue Procedure 2012-35, the IRS stopped this letter forwarding program. The IRS will no longer process requests to locate retirement plan participants or beneficiaries.

In the absence of IRS letter forwarding services, sponsors, administrators and QTAs may use a variety of other methods to locate missing participants and beneficiaries, including:

  • commercial locator services
  • credit reporting agencies
  • internet search tools

Additional resources


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 22-May-2014