Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DFVCP Penalty Calculator and Online Payment/Actuarial Information Search

The DOL announced new online tools for plan administrators and participants:

Washington – The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today announced new online tools to give workers access to financial information and an improved calculator that makes it easier for employers and plan administrators to pay online civil penalties for delinquent filings of annual reports under the agency's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP).

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 required the department to post on its Web site actuarial information of pension plans filed with the Form 5500 annual reports. The site, located at, provides user friendly ways for workers and plan officials to search for plan information by such categories as plan name, employer identification number or date.

The DFVCP encourages plan administrators to file already overdue annual reports required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Delinquent filers can avoid potentially higher civil penalty assessments by satisfying the program's requirements and voluntarily paying a reduced penalty amount.

Employers and plan administrators can access the new feature that allows them to electronically pay civil penalties at The calculator uses the Department of the Treasury's financial management system. Users now can accurately and simply calculate the amount of civil penalties and pay those penalties online with a credit or debit card as an alternative to paying by check.

This new tool is part of EBSA's compliance assistance program and is available nationwide. For more information on the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program, contact EBSA at 202.693.8360 or visit the agency's Web site at

Related Links

Sunday, September 21, 2008

IRS Notice 2008-69 – Update for Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates

Part III --- Administrative, Miscellaneous, and Procedural

IRS Notice 2008-69 – Update for Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates

Weighted average interest rate update; corporate bond indices; 30-year Treasury securities; segment rates. This notice contains updates for the corporate bond weighted average interest rate for plan years beginning in August 2008; the 24-month average segment rates; the funding transitional segment rates applicable for August 2008; and the minimum present value transitional rates for July 2008.

This notice contains updates for interest rates for funding requirements under sections 412(b)(5)(B) and 430(h)(2) of the Code applicable for August 2008, and updates for interest rates for minimum present value determinations under 417(e)(3) of the Code for July 2008.

Related Links:

DOL Website Provides Updated Contact Information for Hurricane Victims

The DOL announced that it has updated its website to give plan sponsors a way to provide updated contact information for hurricane victims:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today updated its Web site to give sponsors of retirement, health and other benefit plans a way to update their contact information following the disruption of operations due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. This information will allow employees, plan participants and their families, as well as the many support organizations that assist victims of the hurricanes, to reach plan administrators with questions and information related to their benefits.

Employers are encouraged to update their contact information with the department if it has changed. The Web site includes a searchable database that lists pre-hurricane contact information taken from the Form 5500 Annual Reports filed previously by all employee benefit plans located in the affected disaster areas. The Web site allows employers to verify existing information or provide updated contact information — including post-hurricane addresses and phone numbers — that will be entered into this database for public use.

Employers/plan sponsors that wish to update or correct their contact information included on this site may do so by calling 866-444-EBSA (3272) toll-free or by submitting a Verification of Contact Information Form found on the Web site.

Employees/plan participants who need to locate their employer/plan sponsor may search the database at or contact a benefits advisor for assistance at 866-444-EBSA (3272). EBSA benefits advisors can retrieve information for those who do not have access to a computer and are available to answer questions related to benefits issues.

Related Links

DOL Official Testifies on Fee Disclosures

The DOL announced that an official testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on fee disclosures:

WASHINGTON — Bradford P. Campbell, assistant secretary of labor for the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), today testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on initiatives to expand disclosure of fees and expenses in 401(k)-type plans to an estimated 65 million workers, employee benefit plan fiduciaries and the government. Campbell's testimony focused on three regulatory initiatives to improve fee disclosure and transparency in a manner that is appropriate and cost-effective for workers and plan fiduciaries.

"Together these rules will ensure that millions of American workers and plan officials get the information they need to make informed decisions about plan services and investments. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that plans and workers pay only fair, competitive and transparent prices for services to their plans," Campbell said.

In his testimony, Campbell discussed key elements of EBSA's regulatory initiatives to improve plan fee disclosure. These include:

  • A proposed rule that will make it easier for workers covered by 401(k)-type plans to make informed retirement saving decisions by providing them with useful summary information, including fee and expense information, for investment options available under their plans. The centerpiece of the July 23, 2008, proposal is a model chart that can be used to provide investment-related information to workers in an easy to-read, comparative format. The chart is available at
  • A regulation proposed for plan fiduciaries on Dec. 13, 2007, that would require service providers to disclose specific and detailed fee and conflict of interest information when they enter into contracts with plans. The proposal requires service providers to disclose in writing the services they will provide to the plan and all compensation, direct and indirect, they will receive for providing those services. This information will assist plan fiduciaries in deciding whether the compensation to be received by the service provider is reasonable and whether any conflicts of interest exist that may affect the performance of plan services.
  • Changes to the Form 5500, finalized on Nov. 16, 2007, that expanded the information reported on the Schedule C relating to indirect compensation received by service providers to assist plan fiduciaries in monitoring the reasonableness of compensation paid to providers and any potential conflicts of interest.

The Three Regulatory Initiatives

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Employee Plans News - Special Edition, September, 2008

The IRS published Employee Plans News - Special Edition, September, 2008:

This Special Edition discusses relief to help meet September 30 deadline for AFTAP actuarial certification for defined benefit plans.