October 27, 2017
Recently at the 14th Annual Public Pension Financial Forum Conference, there was a discussion group on the topic of “The dilemma between the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF) and unreported deaths and missing participants”. As a leader in our industry, we would also like to provide our perspective, as we are regrettably unable to attend the conference.
First and foremost, we would like to rename this topic “Opportunities Between the SSA Limited Death Master File (LMDF), Additional Sources for Unreported Deaths & Locating Missing Participants.” We feel this is a more positive title and attitude working toward solutions rather than reporting on the issues.
A little history
Effective November 1, 2011, the DMF data provided by the SSA no longer contains protected State death records per Section 205(r) of the Act, which prohibits the SSA from disclosing State death records the administration receives through contracts with the states, except in limited cirumstances (e.g. Section 205(r)). This change has resulted in a reduction of over 40% of the records provided in prior years. Additionally, current SSADMF records added since November 1, 2011 do NOT include City and State of residence, increasing the challenge of locating participants. These occurrences have caused the DMF to become the Limited Access DMF (LADMF).
The Limited Access DMF (LADMF) from the Social Security Administration contains over 86 million records created from SSA payment records. The LADMF file includes the information on each decedent as its available to the SSA: Social Security number (SSN), Name, Date of Birth, Date of Death. Following the changes in November 2011, the SSA does not have a death record for all persons and does not guarantee the reliability of the file. Thus, the absence of a person is not proof that this person is alive, which creates gaps for fiduciary organizations.
Herein lies the dilemma. The Limited Access DMF (LADMF) caused the issue of unreported deaths and missing participants (Make sure to write your representatives and let them know that we need access to the full DMF to combat these costly issues)!
LifeStatus360 looked at the dilemma and turned it into an opportunity and a solution. We have integrated the latest technologies, algorithms, proprietary data sources (LSP) and obituary data (Obit360) to fill the gaps left by the LADMF.
To assist in the location of missing participants, we have created a new set of LifeStatus tools, techniques and processes to help our customers find, locate and pinpoint lost, missing or misplaced participants. We provide a set of meta data (a set of data that describes and provides information about your participants’ data) to help customers locate and correct data in their files, which includes: Address Location, Email, DOB, Phone, Relative, SSN Verification (batch and real-time serach). Additionally, we provide a death check as part of our solutions to ensure accuracy of our reports.
In 2018 we will introduce our new and improved Confirmed Locate service for our customers’ use on participant population. This new method will save time, money and the environment while we reconnect you with your participants.
LifeStatus360 – Innovative Technology for the Death Audit Industry. Contact us to learn more about our Life Audit and Death Audit Solutions.