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News Release

Release Date: September 3, 2009
Release Number: 09-1076-NAT
Contact Name: Gloria Della
Phone Number: 202-693-8664

U.S. Labor Department proposes civil penalty rules for multiemployer defined benefit pension plans that fail to take corrective funding action

Washington —The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a regulation to assess civil penalties against plan sponsors of multiemployer defined benefit pension plans that fail to adopt a funding improvement or rehabilitation plan in accordance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) as amended by the Pension Protection Act (PPA).

The PPA amended ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code to require those plans certified to be in endangered or critical status to adopt a funding improvement plan or a rehabilitation plan within 240 days from the required date of the certification. PPA also gave the Labor Department authority to assess civil monetary penalties of up to $1,100 per day against plan sponsors that fail to timely adopt funding improvement or rehabilitation plans. The proposed regulation sets forth the administrative procedures for assessing and contesting such penalties.

The proposed regulation is to be published in the September 4 edition of the Federal Register. The public may submit comments to the department at e-ori@dol.gov or through the federal e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. Paper-based comments should be sent to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, Attention: Civil Penalties Under 502(c)(8).

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Department's Newsroom page. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202.693.7828 or TTY 202.693.7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit the Department's Compliance Assistance page.