Coverage for Contraceptive Services
This document is a request for information on whether there are alternative ways (other than those offered in current regulations) for eligible organizations that object to providing coverage for contraceptive services on religious grounds to obtain an accommodation, while still ensuring that women enrolled in the organizations' health plans have access to seamless coverage of the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives without cost sharing. This information is being solicited in light of the Supreme Court's opinion in Zubik v. Burwell, 136 S. Ct. 1557 (2016). The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) invite public comments via this request for information.
Proposed Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports
This document contains proposed changes to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report forms, including the Form 5500, Annual Return/ Report of Employee Benefit Plan (Form 5500 Annual Return/Report), and the Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan (Form 5500-SF). The annual returns/reports are filed for employee pension and welfare benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The proposed revisions in this Notice reflect efforts of the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (collectively Agencies) to improve employee benefit plan reporting for filers, the public, and the Agencies by modernizing financial information filed regarding plans; updating fee and expense information on plan service providers with a focus on harmonizing annual reporting requirements with the Department of Labor's final disclosure requirements enhancing mineability of data filed on annual return/reports; requiring reporting by all group health plans covered by Title I of ERISA, including adding a new Schedule J (Group Health Plan Information); and improving compliance under ERISA and the Code through selected new questions regarding plan operations, service provider relationships, and financial management of the plan. These revisions, which are being proposed in conjunction with a recompete of the ERISA Filing and Acceptance System (EFAST2) contract, if adopted, generally would apply for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. EFAST2 is expected to begin processing the Plan Year 2019 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report beginning January 1, 2020. The proposed revisions would affect employee pension and welfare benefit plans, plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers to plans subject to annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the Code.
Annual Reporting and Disclosure
This document contains proposed amendments to Department of Labor (DOL) regulations relating to annual reporting requirements under Part 1 of Subtitle B of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). The proposed amendments contained in this document would conform the DOL's reporting regulations to proposed revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Return/ Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan, which are being published concurrently in today's Federal Register in a separate Notice of Proposed Forms Revisions (NPFR) prepared jointly by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) (collectively the Agencies). The proposed regulation, and related forms revisions, would improve employee benefit plan reporting for filers, the public, and the Agencies. The revision is necessary because the annual return/report forms have not kept pace with market developments and changes in the laws covering employee benefit plans, presenting problems with outdated and missing information that negatively impact the Agencies' effective and efficient protection of employee retirement and health benefits. The proposed revisions would affect employee pension and welfare benefit plans, plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers.
Best Interest Contract Exemption; Correction
This document makes technical corrections to the Department of Labor's Best Interest Contract Exemption, which was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2016. The Best Interest Contract Exemption allows certain persons that are fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) or the Internal Revenue Code (the Code), or both, by reason of providing investment advice, to receive compensation that may otherwise be prohibited. The corrections in this document fix typographical errors, make minor clarifications to provisions that might otherwise be confusing, and confirm insurers' broad eligibility to rely on the exemption, consistent with the exemption's clearly intended scope and the analysis and data relied upon in the Department's final regulatory impact analysis (RIA).
Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs; Correction
This document makes technical corrections to the Department of Labor's Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs (Principal Transactions Exemption), which was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2016. The Principal Transactions Exemption permits principal transactions and riskless principal transactions in certain investments between a plan, plan participant or beneficiary account, or an IRA, and a fiduciary that provides investment advice to the plan or IRA, under conditions to safeguard the interests of these investors. The corrections either fix typographical errors or make minor clarifications to provisions that might otherwise be confusing.
Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Catch-Up Adjustments
The U.S. Department of Labor is issuing this interim final rule to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed or enforced in its regulations. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act) requires agencies to adjust the levels of civil monetary penalties with an initial catch-up adjustment, followed by annual adjustments for inflation. The Department is required to calculate the catch-up and subsequent annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers. The Department must publish the interim final rule by July 1, 2016, and the new penalty levels are effective no later than August 1, 2016.