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News Release

EBSA Press Release: Labor Department Seeks Comment On Proposed Nonenforcement Policy For Annual Reporting By Multiemployer Welfare Plans [03/13/1997]

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

For more information call: (202) 219-8921

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking public comment on whether to adopt a proposed nonenforcement policy for Form 5500 annual reports filed by multiemployer plans providing post-retirement health and other welfare benefits.

Under the proposed nonenforcement policy, the department would not reject as deficient the Form 5500 reports of a multiemployer collectively bargained welfare plan under certain conditions. Reports would not be rejected if the opinion of the plan's accountant, accompanying the Form 5500, is either "adverse" or "qualified" solely because the plan's financial statements do not include the plan's estimated cost for providing future retiree health and other post-retirement welfare benefits. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' (AICPA) Statement of Position 92-6 (SOP 92-6) requires that the financial statements of the plan include this projected cost.

Multiemployer plans formally requested the nonenforcement policy citing a substantial increase in administrative and recordkeeping burdens that would be required to calculate the cost of post-retirement welfare benefits in accordance with SOP 92-6 and argued that the SOP 92-6 estimate does not provide useful information to plan trustees and participants.

The notice, published in today's Federal Register, seeks public comment on the implications, costs and benefits of allowing multiemployer plans to file Form 5500 annual reports under this proposed policy. Multiemployer plans may rely on the proposed policy for Form 5500 annual reports required to be filed through plan year 1997. The department expects to have sufficient information and data, based on the public comments received, to decide in advance of Jan. 1, 1998, whether the proposed nonenforcement policy should be adopted on a permanent basis.

Public comments or requests for a hearing should be submitted in writing to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, Room N-5669, 200 Constitution Ave., N. W., Washington, D.C. 20210, Attention: Reporting Enforcement Policy.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 13, 1997
Release Number