The U.S. Department of Labor has published final funding notice regulations for union pension plans and other multiemployer pension plans.
The regulations implement a provision of the Pension Funding Equity Act of 2004 that requires plan administrators to send annual funding status notices to plan members, labor organizations, contributing employers and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
The notice must tell recipients whether the plan is fully funded and compare the plan’s assets to the plan’s benefit payments, Labor Department officials say.
The regulations include a model notice and suggestions about how to use the model notice.
The final rule, published today in the Federal Register, is based on a draft released in February 2005.
Labor Department officials say they received only 7 comment letters on the draft from members of the public.
Officials resisted several suggestions that they believe might have reduced the clarity of the notices.
One commenter, for example, objected to a section in the draft regulations that would have required the annual funding notice to give the market value of the plan’s assets, rather than the actuarial value.
Another commenter argued that administrators should be permitted to include any clear, accurate information with the notice, not just information that is “necessary or helpful” to explaining the mandatory information, according to the Labor Department officials who wrote the preamble to the final rule.