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Text of DOL Field Assistance Bulletin 2021-01: Temporary Enforcement Policy Regarding the Participation of Terminating Defined Contribution Plans in the PBGC Missing Participants Program
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Jan. 12, 2021

"This memorandum announces the [DOL's] temporary enforcement policy on terminating defined contribution plans' (e.g., 401(k) plans) use of the [PBGC's] expanded Missing Participants Program. The policy applies to fiduciaries of terminating defined contribution plans and qualified termination administrators (QTA) of abandoned individual account plans....

Pending further guidance, the Department will not pursue violations under section 404(a) of ERISA against either responsible plan fiduciaries of terminating defined contribution plans or QTAs of abandoned plans ... in connection with the transfer of a missing or non-responsive participant's or beneficiary's account balance to the PBGC in accordance with the PBGC's missing participant regulations rather than to an IRA, certain bank accounts, or to a state unclaimed property fund, ... if the plan fiduciary or QTA complies with the guidance in this memorandum and has acted in accordance with a good faith, reasonable interpretation of section 404 of ERISA with respect to matters not specifically addressed in this memorandum.

However, this temporary enforcement policy does not preclude the Department from pursuing violations under sections 404 or 406 of ERISA for a failure to diligently search for participants and beneficiaries prior to the transfer of their account balances to the PBGC or from pursuing violations under sections 107, 209 or 404 of ERISA for a failure to maintain plan and employer records. This memorandum expresses a temporary enforcement policy; it does not address the rights or obligations of other parties. To the extent this memorandum conflicts with the distribution guidance of Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01, this memorandum controls."

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