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Apr 4 -- Comment period extended to May 22, 2024. https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ebsa/ebsa20240404

1) Jan 19 [news release] -- The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that its Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Department of the Treasury, the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. jointly will issue a Request for Information soliciting public input as the federal government reviews the effectiveness of existing reporting and disclosure requirements for retirement plans, as required by the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022. . . .

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code include requirements on the information about retirement plan benefits and features that must be reported to the agencies and provided to plan participants and beneficiaries. In the SECURE 2.0 Act, Congress directed the agencies to review these ERISA and code requirements.

The agencies will report their findings and recommendations on revamping the requirements to Congress in 2025. They look forward to feedback from a range of stakeholders to inform their report to Congress and any action taken later to improve the reporting and disclosure framework for retirement plans.

The RFI, which will be posted on each agency’s website and published in the Federal Register, includes 24 questions on a broad range of topics relevant to effective reporting and disclosure. These topics include:

-- Number and frequency of disclosures received by workers.
-- Information disclosed and its effectiveness, accessibility and understandability, including to non-English speakers.
-- How plans obtain and update contact information for workers.
-- Plans’ experiences completing and filing reports and obtaining assistance from the agencies.

The RFI includes a 90-day period for public comments and instructions on how to submit them.

Press release: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ebsa/ebsa20240119

2) Jan 23 {FRN] -- The Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor Department), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) are publishing this Request for Information to develop a public record for purposes of the directive in the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0). Specifically, this Request for Information addresses section 319 of SECURE 2.0, requiring that these agencies review the existing reporting and disclosure requirements for certain retirement plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (Code) that are applicable to each agency.

Following this review, the agencies are to report to Congress, no later than December 29, 2025, concerning the effectiveness of the reporting and disclosure requirements. The report will include recommendations on consolidating, simplifying, standardizing, and improving such requirements with the dual goals of reducing compliance burdens and ensuring plan participants' and beneficiaries' timely receipt and better understanding of the information they need to monitor their plans, prepare for retirement, and get the benefits they have earned. The report will also consider how participants and beneficiaries are providing preferred contact information, the methods by which plan sponsors and plans are furnishing disclosures, and the rate at which participants and beneficiaries are receiving, accessing, understanding, and retaining disclosures.

Consistent with the directive in section 319 of SECURE 2.0, this Request for Information focuses generally on the overall effectiveness of the reporting and disclosure frameworks in ERISA and the Code. Responses to this Request for Information will inform the agencies in preparation of the required report to Congress and in any future action taken by the agencies to enhance the effectiveness of existing requirements.

To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the following addresses no later than April 22, 2024.

FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-01077 [7 pages]

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