PBI Launches Participant Address Search Service

March 31, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Pension Benefit Information, Inc. (PBI), a provider of participant research services, has announced the launch of P.A.S.S. - Participant Address Search Service.

According to a press release, P.A.S.S. provides Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors access to missing participant addresses and/or validation of address information on file; all within 24 hours to assist plan sponsors in meeting the Department of Labor (DoL) deadline.

The San Rafael, California-based firm notes that the Pension Protection Act (PPA) requires a mandatory notice to be sent to each participant and beneficiary regarding pension funding status.   The funding notice is required under Section 101(f) of ERISA and replaces the Summary annual Report (SAR) previously required.   In addition, this notice must also be sent to the PBGC and each labor organization representing plan participants no later than April 30, 2009 for calendar year plans.   The PPA gives the DoL authority to assess penalties of up to $1,000 per day against plan administrators for violating the new disclosure requirement.

“P.A.S.S. was created to provide our defined benefit clients and administrators the ability to comply with the impending April 30th deadline” said Sue McDonald, President of PBI.   According to the firm, terminated vested participants often forget to update address information with their former employer, a problem exacerbated for defined benefit plans, which typically don’t perform frequent mailings to keep address information current.   THe announcement says that P.A.S.S. will verify existing addresses are correct; provide a new address for any addresses that don’t verify, and provide a single-best address for participants with no information on file.   “P.A.S.S. will minimize the cost of returned mail and avoid the costly penalties for violating the PPA disclosure requirements,” according to the announcement. 

For more information and to sign up for P.A.S.S. contact PBI at 415-482-9611 or email atinquiry@pbinfo.com.