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News Release

Labor Department Proposes Two Rules To Implement Summary Plan Description Requirements In Taxpayer Relief Act Of 1997

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration today published two proposed rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) implementing changes in ERISA's summary plan description requirements made by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA '97).

TRA '97 eliminated the requirement that employee benefit plan administrators automatically file with the department copies of the summary plan descriptions (SPDs) and summaries of material plan modifications (SMMs) that are required to be furnished to plan participants and beneficiaries. SPDs must be furnished to the department when requested and TRA '97 provides for the assessment of civil penalties for a failure to respond to such a request.

The proposed rules implement these requirements and remove SPD filing and other provisions from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which were superceded by TRA '97.

"These regulations ensure that employees can come to the department to get copies of their plan's latest SPD," said Assistant Secretary Richard M. McGahey.

Written comments on the proposed rules should be submitted by October 4 to: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Room N-5669, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210.

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Internet. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202.693.7773 or TTY 202.693.7755.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Phone Number: 202.219.8921

Employee Benefits Security Administration
August 5, 1999
Release Number