The SSA has discontinued its letter-forwarding service... What’s a plan sponsor to do?!

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On April 17, 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it would discontinue its letter-forwarding service effective May 19, 2014. This was a service available to employers, plan sponsors, and other individuals to forward letters to missing persons. The discontinuation represents potential problems for plan sponsors because it affects the steps they need to take to fulfill their obligations under ERISA. While Internet search tools and social media websites are simple and often free, they may be less reliable and may not satisfy an auditor if they fail to locate a plan participant.