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rocknrolls2

Locating Missing Participants -- Best Internet Web Sites

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I did a VCP filing for a client in the first quarter of 2019. Because there are a lot of former employees who may be entitled to corrective contributions, I knew that client could face a major issue in locating all former employees who are entitled to receive a corrective allocation. Therefore, I proposed that the client send them a letter asking them to do three things: (1) provide updated contact information; (2) consent to receive documents and notices electronically; and (3) complete an updated beneficiary designation form.

The mailing resulted in almost 30 people who have not responded, a number who have and 3 that they still cannot locate. I suggested that the search should start with free Internet searches to locate the missing participants and to verify current addresses of those who failed to respond. Then they should move to cites charging a nominal fee. 

In your experience, which are the best free internet search sites and which are the best sites that charge a nominal fee for searching for people? Also, does the search include death information? Thanks.

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Don't overlook the possibility that some may have returned to their home country, which might make ANY search fruitless.  Possibly, other (current or former) employees might have some information on this.

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I recommended that the client reach out to current and former employees to ask if they remained in contact with them as one "free" approach. Thanks.

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At risk of beating the dead horse given that many people move and never change their cell phone number, we do find co-workers often times have their phone number.  

I have had good results with this company. 

https://www.pbinfo.com/

I will admit the best results we back in the day when the IRS would forward letters.  They made that part of their service for you. 

But still in the past few years they have found some hard to find people and found people who were dead (which I think you can do on your own if you know how).  

The thing I like the most about them is if you ask for a letter from them they will send you one outlining the process of the search.  That helps document you did your due diligence in case the DOL comes a knocking.  

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ESOP Guy I went to their website and its like someone is paying attention to a huge problem in the industry and tailor-made a business around it.  Great link.  

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It seemed perfectly suited to the situation at hand. I wonder how much they charge and how many participants they have to search for to make the use of their services worth the cost?

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They charge a per head charge  on a declining rate for larger groups if you want their confirmed service.  You can get a quote from them pretty easy.

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Long before we had social media capabilities, we sent a list of missing participants to all of those we had addresses for.  Worked wonderfully.

If you are dealing with people who were part of an acquisition, try to get the name of the company that they will recognize on the envelope.  I've seen instances where it's been tossed out as junk mail.

 

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On 6/8/2019 at 2:31 PM, ESOP Guy said:

They charge a per head charge  on a declining rate for larger groups if you want their confirmed service.  You can get a quote from them pretty easy.

Requested a quote yesterday.  Got a call and an emailed quote today.  I like what I see so far.  Since you are a client already, let me know if they give some incentive for referrals and I'll happily let them know where I got their information.

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I sent that link to a large actuarial firm we work and said "hey this would be perfect for DB plan terminations." The response was "That's who we already use."

So that's two substantial endorsements!

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