Missing participants are former employees who still have an active retirement plan account balance, and as a plan fiduciary, you're responsible for them. This easy-to-use checklist can help you take control of former employees and your missing participant problem.
On June 5, 2019, the SEC adopted Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Reg BI establishes a "best interest" standard of conduct for broker-dealers and associated persons when they make a recommendation to a retail customer of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities, including recommendations of types of accounts.
As part of the rulemaking package, the SEC also adopted new rules and forms to require broker-dealers and investment advisers to provide a brief relationship summary, Form Customer Relationship Summary (CRS) to retail investors.
On May 21, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) adopted the final version of a safe harbor rule (the "Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor") that allows retirement plan sponsors to satisfy required participant disclosure requirements by suing website postings or email as a default approach for all participants. This reflects a major relaxation from the main existing DOL rules related to electronic disclosures.
Old Safe Harbor Electronic delivery rules:
Permitted electronic delivery of participant disclosures only for participants who affirmatively consented (opt-in) or who have computers that are integral to their jobs.
New Safe Harbor (the "Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor") delivery rules:
Allows retirement plans sponsors to satisfy required disclosure requirements of "Covered Documents" of "Covered Plans" to "Covered Individuals" by using either website postings or email as the default approach for all "Covered Individuals".
New rules were finalized on May 21, 2020
New rules are effective 60 days after the date they were published
On March 27, 2020, the President signed a $2 trillion relief package entitled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act is intended to provide "emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic." This frequently asked questions (FAQ) is intended to address CARES Act provisions related to individual financial assistance to help individuals withstand the harsh impact of COVID-19.
IMPORTANT: Before considering or acting on any of the information included in this FAQ, individuals are advised to seek qualified counsel from their legal, tax and/or financial advisors.
If I am experiencing a dire financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is there a way for me to access funds in my retirement accounts?
Potentially, yes. As it relates to your employer-sponsored retirement plan, there may be two provisions available to "qualified individuals":
Coronavirus-related distribution (CRD): IF you are a
New and information for Employers. Staying the course through volatile markets, tracking down your missing participants and why it's important to review, refresh and revise retirement plan documents are all covered in this 4th quarter newsletter.