Printer Friendly Version
U.S. Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
February 26, 2010
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 amended the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) by adding a
new section 101(k) to increase transparency with respect to
multiemployer retirement plan operations. The Department of Labor is
publishing a final regulation that will increase pension plan
transparency by ensuring that workers will have greater access to
information about the operation and financial health of their
multiemployer defined benefit and defined contribution (e.g.,
401(k)) pension plans, enhancing retirement security and supporting
the Secretary of Labor’s good jobs for everyone policy.
The Department’s Employee Benefits Security
Administration (EBSA) is responsible for administering and
enforcing the fiduciary, reporting, and disclosure provisions of
Title I of ERISA. EBSA oversees approximately 708,000 private
pension plans, including approximately 659,000 defined
contribution plans and approximately 49,000 defined benefit
plans, and millions of private health and welfare plans that are
subject to ERISA.
The rule is expected to impact about 1,500
multiemployer defined benefit plans with 9.7 million
participants and beneficiaries and about 1,500 multiemployer
defined contribution plans with 3.7 million participants and
A multiemployer plan generally is a plan to
which more than one employer is required to contribute and which
is maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining
agreements between one or more employee organizations and more
than one employer.
On September 14, 2007, the Department
published a proposed regulation under section 101(k) of ERISA
with a request for public comment.
The Department received four comment letters.
These comment letters are available for public inspection at
The regulation requires the administrator of
a multiemployer pension plan, on the written request of any plan
participant, beneficiary, employee representative (e.g., union),
or any employer that has an obligation to contribute to the
plan, to furnish copies of requested financial and actuarial
reports of the plan.
The documents that are required to be
Periodic actuarial reports.
Quarterly, semi-annual, or annual
Certain applications filed with the
Secretary of the Treasury and related determinations
A plan administrator must furnish the
requested documents within 30 days from the request. The
Secretary of Labor may assess a civil penalty against any person
of up to $1,000 a day for each violation by any person of
section 101(k). A plan is not required to provide more than one
copy of any document during any one 12-month period. A plan may
impose a reasonable charge on the requester to cover the cost of
copying and mailing a document.
The cost of the final rule is expected to
total approximately $2.4 million in the year of implementation
(2009 dollars), $2.1 million in the second year, and $1.7
million in the third year. The ten-year total discounted cost of
the rule is $15.7 million.
The increased transparency resulting from this
regulation will provide participants, beneficiaries, employee
representatives, and contributing employers with a greater
opportunity to monitor their plans’ funding and financial status
and to take appropriate action when necessary. It also may help
create a greater sense of accountability to plan participants and
beneficiaries on the part of plan officials.
This fact sheet has been developed by the U.S.
Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration,
Washington, DC 20210. It will be made available in alternate formats
upon request: Voice phone: 202.693.8664; TTY: 202.501.3911. In
addition, the information in this fact sheet constitutes a small
entity compliance guide for purposes of the Small Business
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.