Retirement Clearinghouse has enhanced its services by combining searches of national change-of-address records and commercial databases with an Internet tracker and social media search capabilities. The service validates and updates participant data, oversees mailings to last known addresses, locates missing participants when possible, and helps plan sponsors meet fiduciary responsibilities.
“This is the most thorough, cost effective search capability available to plan sponsors today,” says J. Spencer Williams, chief executive officer of RCH. “At the end of our process, plan sponsors have air-tight records and know with confidence that they have exhausted every reasonable avenue to locate their plans’ missing participants.”
The Social Security Administration recently announced it would no longer operate a letter forwarding program that plan sponsors have relied on to locate participants who have gone missing due to address changes and other circumstances (see “SSA Letter-Forwarding to Be Discontinued”). The SSA’s move follows a similar decision by the Internal Revenue Service (see “IRS Stops Forwarding Letters for Missing Participants”).
Williams recently told PLANSPONSOR he feels an overlooked factor in improving retirement outcomes is account consolidation—helping a participant to gather up abandoned retirement accounts from previous employers, or providing the right counsel so that a participant does not cash out of a plan when leaving a job (see “Stranded Retirement Accounts a Growing Problem”).
For more information about Retirement Clearinghouse’s lost and missing participant service, visit www.RCH1.com.