Uncashed 401(K) Checks: An Issue That’s Gaining Attention

March 31, 2016
Terry Dunne

Until recently, uncashed distribution checks were thought to be a relatively minor issue for retirement plans. However, the dimensions of the issue have changed during the past decade and are an issue that has gained the attention of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL estimates that millions of retirement dollars go unclaimed each year because plan participants, or their beneficiaries, have failed to cash distribution checks. And it’s rapidly becoming a material issue for retirement plans, especially the larger ones as the funds represented by these uncashed checks remain plan assets and so plan sponsors retain fiduciary responsibility for them.

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