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ERISA: Practical Approaches to Lost Participant Problems.
Presentor: Derrin Watson Recorded Date: 11/17/2014 Duration: 60 Min.

This program was recorded during a live presentation given on November 17, 2014 at 12:00PM EST.

The DOL has revised the rules for dealing with lost participants. This is a perennial problem for retirement plans and the new guidance removes obsolete government locator services in favor of internet searches. Unfortunately, their rules are limited to terminating defined contribution plans and do not address some of the most common situations practitioners face, such as uncashed checks, and invalid social security numbers, for which solid answers do not exist.

This program will address the lost participant landscape in general and the new rules in specific to provide you with a thorough understanding of this important area, as well as strategies to address trouble spots. As always, we are happy to take your questions.

Topics will include:

  • When is someone lost: Old rules and new
  • What searches should you do?
  • What if they are still lost?
  • Can you charge accounts for costs of searches?
  • Do you need to disclose those charges?
  • What alternatives are there for lost participant accounts?
  • Should you forfeit the account?
  • Should we expect help from the PBGC?
  • How do you deal with situations that don’t fit the normal mode?


Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites or other advanced preparation for this program. The speaker will expect attendees will have a general understanding of the operation of 401(k) and other retirement plans.

Level: Overview

Instructional Delivery Method
Group – Internet-Based

Speaker: S. Derrin Watson, J.D., APM
Recipient of ASPPA's 2006 Educator of the Year Award

Objectives: After the seminar, attendees should be able to:

  • List the steps plans should undertake to find lost participants
  • List the alternatives for addressing lost participant accounts
  • Explain the requirements connected with charging for searches
  • Advise a client regarding forfeiture, rollovers, and other alternatives