DOL Issues Final Rule on Annual Funding Notice for Defined Benefit Plans

The Department of Labor on January 30 released a final rule implementing the annual funding notice requirement of section 101(f) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. 

The final rule requires the administrators of defined benefit plans (single employer and multiemployer) to furnish an annual funding notice to participants, beneficiaries, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and certain other persons.

DOL said the rule seeks to enhance retirement security and increase pension plan transparency by ensuring that workers receive timely and accurate notification annually of the funded status of their defined benefit pension plans.

The final rule also contains conforming amendments to other regulations under ERISA, such as the summary annual report regulation, the DOL said. 

The final rule is applicable to notices for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2015. The rule advises that, prior to this applicability date, however, plan administrators may elect to comply with the requirements of the final regulation and the Department of Labor, as a matter of enforcement, will consider such compliance as satisfying the requirements of section 101(f) of ERISA. This temporary enforcement policy does not address the rights or obligations of other parties, DOL said.

DOL Final Rule