DOL Requests Input on Benefit Statement Surveys

The Department of Labor (DOL) is soliciting comments about a proposed information collection request to guide rulemaking about retirement benefit statements.

The Department of Labor is planning to survey participants in an existing household Internet panel called the American Life Panel (ALP) and conduct four focus groups consisting of nonpanel members to explore whether information presented in retirement plan benefit statements can be presented in a manner that is understandable for participants and beneficiaries and that makes its audience better prepared for retirement.

The study results will be used to support the Department’s rule-making pursuant to section 105(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as amended by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which requires administrators of ERISA-covered individual account plans to furnish periodic benefit statements to participants and beneficiaries and requires the department to develop model benefits statements.  

The department wants comments about whether the collections of information will have practical utility; the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; how to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and how to minimize the burden of the collection of information for those who are to respond.  

More information is here.