In the March 2, 2010 Federal Register the Department of Labor issued a final rule requiring multiemployer plans to provide copies of certain actuarial and financial documents regarding the plan upon request. The requested documents must be furnished within 30 days of the date a written request is made by a plan participant, beneficiary, employee representative or contributing employer. Failure to timely provide the requested documents may result in a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day late.
The following documents must be provided upon written request:
A copy of any periodic actuarial report (including sensitivity testing) received by the plan for any plan year which has been in the plan’s possession for at least 30 days prior to the date of the written request;
A copy of any quarterly, semi-annual, or annual financial report prepared by any plan investment manager or advisor or other fiduciary which has been in the plan’s possession for at least 30 days before the plan receive written request; and
A copy of applications filed with the Secretary of the Treasury requesting an extension under Internal Revenue Code Section 431(d) or ERISA Section 304 and the determination of such Secretary pursuant to such application.
There are limits to what plan administrators are required to furnish upon request. A plan administrator is not required to produce the following:
More than one copy of a document during any 12-month period;
Any report or application that has been in the plan’s possession for 6 years or more as of the date on which the request was received by the plan;
Information that has not been in the plan’s possession for less than 30 days prior to the date of the written request - because requestors may not know about this limitation, plan administrators must provide a notice to the requestor informing them of the existence of the report and the earliest date it may be available;
Any information or data that served as the basis for any report or application that is required to be furnished; and
Individually identifiable information regarding any plan participant, beneficiary, employee, fiduciary, or contributing employer or proprietary information – the requestor must be informed if such information is withheld and the rationale for the withholding.
The final rule allows employers to charge a fee for the production cost. This fee must be the lesser of the actual cost for the least expensive method of acceptable reproduction or $.25 per page plus mailing or delivery costs.
The final rule is effective April 1, 2010. Plan administrators of multiemployer plans will need to amend their plan’s summary plan descriptions to include language that informs participants and beneficiaries of their disclosure request rights.
If you have any questions regarding the final rule or would like assistance in amending your summary plan description, please contact Dana Thrasher (205-226-5464), Dave Pearson (813-222-1367), Bob Ellerbrock (205-226-5462), or Jay Turner (205-226-5468).
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