Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, is pressing the Labor Department to exercise new authority provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to extend filing deadlines for certain notice and disclosure requirements imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

In a Thursday letter to Preston Rutledge, assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), Murray said “this simple step would help plan administrators and record keepers across the country who are working under unusual and challenging circumstances by allowing them to prioritize the significant increase of requests and applications from families seeking help managing financial hardship over current filing deadlines.”

The law, Murray explained, “provided relief and flexibility for families who may have no choice but to mortgage their future by taking early distributions from their retirement accounts after being forced into a desperate financial situation by this crisis.”

Murray said there were already “significant increases” in hardship requests and loan applications.

“This increase in requests in conjunction with other competing troubles that businesses are facing may overwhelm plan administrators and record keepers as they also try to juggle filing deadlines.”