Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) has changed its name, to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).
The agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, administers private-sector retirement, health and other employer-based benefit programs for more than 150 million workers and their families.
In announcing the name change - which also brings changes in the agency's Web site address - Assistant Labor Secretary Ann L. Combs said: "This action helps us achieve our goal of improved public service by making the agency more recognizable to those we serve. We want to enable Americans to better identify the federal agency that assists them in understanding and receiving their benefits."
The name change took effect Feb. 3. The EBSA said it will continue its outreach activities to educate individuals and the business community about its programs, services and relevant federal law, and help employers and service providers comply with their obligations under the law. Last year, over 184,000 individuals contacted the agency for assistance.
The public may reach EBSA by using the existing telephone, email and Web site contacts for PWBA. The agency is initiating a new toll-free participant assistance number, 1-866-444-EBSA (3272), a new address for electronic inquiries, www.askebsa.dol.gov, and a new address for its Web site, www.dol.gov/ebsa. To reduce paperwork and costs, employers and plans will not be required to modify existing summary plan descriptions to reflect the agency's name change.