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Overpayments to a Presently Missing Participant


holdco
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Good morning, everyone! Our plan has a former participant who was overpaid significantly in respect of his benefit. We would like to get that money back, but apparently we now have the wrong address for him.

Can we use the IRS Letter Forwarding Program or the PBGC locator program? I thought I had seen that the IRS program can't be used to try and obtain amounts owed to a plan. Is this accurate? What of the PBGC program? Or the Social Security program?

If anyone has some suggestions under these facts, I'd greatly appreciate them.

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You are correct about the IRS program.

http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=110108,00.html

BTW, anecdatal comments (on these message boards) indicate that the IRS program does not have a great success record.

I"m not aware of any PBGC letter forwarding program, but you can search:

http://search.pbgc.gov/mp/mp.aspx

This is the SSA program

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foia/html/ltrfwding.htm

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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There are other ways of locating people. Friends, relatives, former co-workers, internet search services.

Also, consider that this person might know of the overpayment and is intentionally "making himself scarce". If so, locating him might be the easiest part of collecting.

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks so much.

What do you suggest, if anything, in our case? How do we go about trying to get money back if we can't find this person?

If you cant locate him there is no way to reclaim the funds.

Even if you locate him you will need to begin a law suit if he does not voluntarily give it back. Also you will need to trace the actual funds paid to see if they are still in his possession. If he lost the pension plan distribution in Vegas or used it to pay expenses, then its too bad, too sad. Also you will not be able to attach SS benefits or in some states, or any other retirement funds he owns.

mjb

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Guest roseH3251

Yea Social Security is off limits even to the government (i.e student loans, etc). The only recourse you have is to locate him and file a lawsuit to regain the money, I can pretty much guarantee you he isn't going to come forward voluntarily.

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  • 8 months later...

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