You are here

Missing Participants Program for PBGC-insured Single-Employer Plans

Missing Participants Program for PBGC-insured Single-Employer Plans

Note for Microsoft Edge users: Links intended to direct you to specific pages of the filing instructions may instead direct you to the cover page. Until Microsoft resolves this issue, you can get directly to linked pages either by using a different browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Overview

A PBGC-insured single-employer defined benefit plan that has enough money to pay all benefits owed participants and beneficiaries may terminate in a standard termination. For each participant or beneficiary, the plan administrator either purchases an annuity from an insurance company or, if the plan permits, pays the benefit owed in another form (such as a lump sum). As part of the standard termination process, the plan must submit information and/or benefits for any missing participants in accordance with the rules provided in PBGC’s missing participants regulation.

The goal of PBGC’s Missing Participants Program is to connect participants who were missing when their plan terminated with their retirement benefits.  PBGC does this by searching for participants and beneficiaries who could not be located when their plans ended and paying their benefits when found. Or, in situations where the plan purchases an annuity from an insurance company for the missing participant, PBGC provides contact information for the applicable insurance company.

Information about how the program works with respect to other types of retirement plans can be found on PBGC’s Missing Participants Program webpage. PBGC’s standard termination webpage provides general information about standard terminations.

Forms and instructions

Form MP-100 and related Schedules A and B Instructions Excel template

You may enter data directly into a PDF fillable/printable version of the form, or print a blank pdf version of the form and applicable schedule(s) and enter the data manually.  Besides these two options, when it comes to filling out the applicable schedule(s), there is a third option that PBGC believes will simplify the process for most filers — entering data into a PBGC-provided spreadsheet and submitting the spreadsheet as an attachment to an email (see “Excel template” above).

We encourage you to read the Form MP-100 instructions carefully. They contain a lot of useful information such as:

Determining amount to transfer to PBGC

The amount to transfer to PBGC with respect to a missing participant is generally the present value of a participant’s accrued benefit as of a specified date (called the “benefit determination date”). In some cases, it also includes the accumulated value of payments that should have been made before that date.

The assumptions and methods used to calculate the present value vary depending upon whether the distributee would have, or could have, received a lump sum had the distributee not been missing when the plan terminated. Depending upon the answer, each distributee falls into one of the following three categories:

  • Category 1 – The participant’s benefit was de minimis (i.e., $5,000 or less) and could have been distributed as a lump sum without consent.
  • Category 2 – The participant’s benefit was not de minimis and the participant would not have been eligible to elect to receive a lump sum in lieu of an annuity.
  • Category 3 – The participant’s benefit was not de minimis and the participant would have been eligible to elect to receive a lump sum (subject to spousal consent rules, if married) in lieu of an annuity. 

The Determining Benefit Transfer Amounts section of the instructions provides detailed information about how all of these calculations are done.  

Additional tools for certain calculations

For participants in Category 1, the transfer amount is simply the lump sum that the plan could have paid upon termination had the participant not been missing. PBGC expects most plan administrators will easily be able to determine those amounts. For other participants, however, the calculation requires using assumptions and methods that the plan administrator might not typically use for other purposes.  A user-friendly spreadsheet called the “Category 2 PV Calculator” can be used for this calculation (see below).

In limited situations (e.g., if the missing participant is past normal retirement age when the plan terminated), the transfer amount for a Category 2 participant includes the accumulated value of back payments.  For this purpose, back payments are accumulated using the applicable federal mid-term rate (as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to section 1274(d)(1)(C)(ii) of the Code) for that month, compounded monthly.  See Appendix 3 of the instructions for  details about this requirement.  A historical list of federal mid-term rates and an example of how this calculation is done are available below.

Where/how to send payment

Payments may be made online via Pay.gov, a free, and user-friendly Federal website from which you can make secure electronic payments direct to many federal agencies, including PBGC. Other payment options include electronic funds transfer (ACH or Fedwire) and paper check. See Missing Participant Program Payment Instructions for detailed information about payment options and where to send payment.

Plans that terminated before 2018

For information about how the program works for PBGC-insured single-employer plans that terminated before 2018, see our Pre‑2018 Missing Participants Program webpage.

If you have questions

If you have questions about PBGC’s Missing Participants Program as it pertains to PBGC-insured single‑employer plans, contact us by:

  • Calling (800) 736-2444 or (202) 326-4242 and selecting option 3. (TTY/ASCII users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at (800) 877-8339 and ask to be connected to (800) 736-2444).