PWBA Looking For Ideas on Automatic Rollover Practices

January 7, 2003 ( - The Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) is looking for input on the development of "safe harbors" for plan administrators to follow regarding automatic rollovers of plan distributions of $5,000 or less.

Automatic rollovers were a provision of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), designed to promote retirement savings by preserving workers’ retirement funds for retirement purposes rather than having them cashed out as taxable distributions, according to the PWBA.

In the absence of an election by a participant, the safe harbor provisions will allow plan administrators to satisfy their fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA when they rollover participants’ balances between $1,000 to $5,000 into certain IRAs or annuities.

Information Flow

The PWBA is requesting information to be submitted within 60 days, or no later than March 10, 2003.   Interested parties are encouraged to review the Request for Information (RFI) on the agency’s website at under Laws and Regulations for further details.   

Written or electronic responses should be submitted to the Department of Labor on or before March 10.   They should be addressed to:

The Office of Regulations and Interpretations

Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, Room N-5669,

U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210

Attention: Automatic Rollover RFI.  

Electronic responses should contain “Automatic Rollover RFI” on the subject line and addressed to .