Social Security will stop forwarding lettersNews added by Benefits Pro on April 21, 2014

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By Paula Aven Gladych

The Social Security Administration is ending the letter forwarding service it has offered since 1945.

Citing advances in technology, such as the Internet, and costs, the Social Security Administration announced it will stop forwarding letters on May 19, 2014.

Now, companies looking for lost retirement plan participants will have to do the research on their own. In the past, people used the forwarding service to track down individuals in times of crisis or to let them know about retirement funds they left behind at a former employer.

Many people forget to update their contact information with past employers, making it hard for companies to track them down if they are terminating a retirement plan or an account balance has gone below a certain threshold that the plan won’t manage it anymore.

In recent years, the Internet has offered a rapid expansion of locator resources via free social media websites and for pay locator services, according to the SSA.

“The public now has widespread access to the Internet and the ability to locate individuals without relying on our letter forwarding services. Based on the availability of the alternative locator resources and the effects it would be as a cost-saving measure, we are discontinuing the letter forwarding service,” the administration said.

In 2012, the Internal Revenue Service also successfully closed down its letter forwarding service to missing taxpayers who may be entitled to a retirement plan payment or other financial benefit from an individual, company or organization.

Also read: Government ends efforts to collect old Social Security debts

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