The federal government has published its semiannual “things to do” lists.[@@]
The lists, which appear in the Federal Register, show how thousands of issues, including many issues of interest to the insurance industry, are moving through the regulatory process.
Agencies that published lists today include the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Office of Personnel Management (which manages benefits for federal employees), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Treasury Department. Because the Internal Revenue Service is part of the Treasury Department, its list is part of the Treasury Department list.
Most agencies have some “long-term action” items that are creeping their way from one desk to another.
The agencies also have regulations at the “prerule” stage, the “proposed rule” stage, and the “final rule” stage, along with a number of recently completed regulations.
Each regulatory item has its own sequence number. At the U.S. Department of Labor, for example, the sequence numbers range from 1972 to 2059. A reader who opens the PDF file for the Labor Department and wants to see item Number 2008, “Mental Health Benefits Parity,” can use the numbers to find the item somewhere near the middle of the file.
Here is a rundown of the list links along with a description of some of the items dealing with life insurance issues, variable annuity issues and employee benefits issues:
Federal Trade Commission: //a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/13dec20040800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/ua041213/pdf/ua041057.pdf
Industry items at the FTC include Number 4079, “Privacy of Consumer Information,” which is at the prerule stage, and Number 4088, “Telemarketing Sales Rule,” a complete rule that will take effect Jan. 1, 2005.
U.S. Department of Labor: //a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/13dec20040800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/ua041213/pdf/ua041014.pdf
Industry items at the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Labor Department agency that deals most directly with benefits issues, at the prerule and proposed rule stage are Number 2000, “Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures”; Number 2001, “Statutory Exemption for Loans to Plan Participants”; and Number 2003, “Rulemaking Relating to Termination of Abandoned Individual Account Plans.”