MetLife dealing with fallout over missing pension customers

MetLife is having trouble finding some of its customers.

The insurer said in December that it had lost track of potentially tens of thousands of customers to whom it owed pension and annuity payments, and was trying to track them down.

On Monday, MetLife postponed its fourth quarter earnings release and said the Securities and Exchange Commission had asked for more information about the matter. The company also notified New York state regulators and is in contact with other states.

MetLife (MET) attributed the problem to “a material weakness in internal control over financial reporting.”

The SEC declined to comment.

MetLife said it was increasing its financial reserves by as much as $575 million and would take a pre-tax hit as a result. Shares fell about 8% after hours.

The company has said it is having trouble locating customers who have moved jobs or relocated, or “otherwise can no longer be reached via the information provided for them.”

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