DOL Offers Guidance for Multiemployer Plans

Bulletin provides FAQ to help plans that received Special Financial Assistance meet notice requirements.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration today issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2023-01 with information for multiemployer pension funds to help them meet annual funding notice requirements for plans that received Special Financial Assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act.

“The annual funding notice helps keep participants and their families informed about the financial status of their pension plan. The Department of Labor expects plan administrators of multiemployer plans receiving special financial assistance to make annual funding notice disclosures relating to the assistance that comply with section 101(f) and the department’s related regulations. Today’s Field Assistance Bulletin will help plan administrators fulfill those responsibilities with a set of frequently asked questions and answers and model language,” said Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Lisa M. Gomez in a statement.

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The law provides assistance to eligible underfunded multiemployer defined benefit pension plans under Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. regulations that detail requirements for Special Financial Assistance applications. Plans that have received assistance must include disclosures regarding the assistance and certain related restrictions, limitations and conditions in the plan’s annual funding notice, according to the EBSA statement.

The bulletin provides responses to frequently asked questions to explain that, pending further guidance, the department will treat compliance with the bulletin’s guidance as constituting a reasonable, good faith interpretation of the annual funding notice disclosure requirements. The bulletin also says for plans that have already prepared and begun to furnish their annual funding notices for the plan’s 2022 year, the department expects the plan administrator to complete them taking the bulletin’s guidance into account.