DoL Proposes Civil Penalties for Disclosure Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has proposed a regulation for assessing civil penalties against plan administrators who fail to disclose certain documents to participants, beneficiaries, and others as required by the Pension Protection Act (PPA).

According to an announcement from the DoL, the proposed regulation sets forth the administrative procedures for assessing and contesting penalties but does not address substantive provisions of the new disclosure requirements. The proposal will be published in the Dec. 19, 2007, edition of the Federal Register.

The PPA established new disclosure provisions relating to funding-based limits on benefit accruals and certain forms of benefit distributions; plan actuarial and financial reports; withdrawal liability of contributing employers; and participants’ rights and obligations under automatic contribution arrangements (See IRS Publishes Sample Notice for Auto Enrollment Arrangements). The PPA gives the DoL authority to assess civil monetary penalties of up to $1,000 per day against plan administrators for violations of the new disclosure requirements, the DoL said.

Comments may be submitted to the DoL at or through Paper-based comments should be sent to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, Attention: 502(c)(4) Civil Penalty.