The DOL Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") issued guidance to plan fiduciaries on locating and distributing retirement benefits to nonresponsive or missing plan participants, in order to satisfy the fiduciaries' obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA").

The DOL provided the following guidance to fiduciaries:

  • Best Practices for Pension Plans, which detail best practices for the fiduciaries of retirement plans in order to reduce missing participant-related issues and ensure the receipt of promised benefits by plan participants who reach the age of retirement;

  • Compliance Assistance Release 2021-01, which (i) describes the general investigative processes of EBSA's Regional Offices under the Terminated Vested Participants Project and (ii) aids plan fiduciaries with voluntary compliance efforts; and

  • Field Assistance Bulletin 2021-01, which temporarily authorizes use of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's expanded "Missing Participants Program" by the fiduciaries of terminating defined contribution plans, and by the qualified termination administrators of abandoned individual account plans.