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December 21, 2007
Rule Proposed for Fines Under Pension Protection Act

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

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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.

The PPA gives the department authority to assess fines of up to $1,000 per day against plan administrators for violations of the new disclosure requirements. The proposed regulation sets forth the administrative procedures for assessing and contesting such penalties and does not address substantive provisions of the new disclosure requirements.

This proposal is published in the December 19 edition of the Federal Register. The public may submit comments to the department at e-ORI@dol.gov or through the federal e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov . 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.

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