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EBSA Works On Plan-Asset Regs

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An arm of the U.S. Department of Labor is conducting a review of a regulation that governs treatment of employees’ retirement plan contributions.

The department discusses the efforts in the section of its latest semiannual regulatory agenda that deals with the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

EBSA will be putting the plan assets-participant contributions regulation through a the routine periodic review required by the federal Regulatory Flexibility Act, officials write in the agenda.

“The review will cover the continued need for the rule; the nature of complaints or comments received from the public concerning the rule; the complexity of the rule; the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other federal rules and, to the extent feasible, with state and local rules; and the extent to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in industries affected by the rule, officials write.

EBSA also is in the process of completing a project that it already has started, to change the regulation that “defines when participant moneys paid to or withheld by an employer for contribution to an employee benefit plan constitute ‘plan assets’” for purposes of interpreting various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, officials write.

“The regulation contains an amendment to the current regulation that will establish a safe harbor period of a specified number of business days during which certain moneys that a participant pays to, or has withheld by, an employer for contribution to a plan would not constitute ‘plan assets,’” officials write.

EBSA hopes to complete work on that project by September.

A copy of the Labor Department’s semiannual regulatory agenda, which refers to the plan assets-participant contributions projects, is available here.


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