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Department of Labor Releases Small Pension Plan Security Amendments
Washington, DC, December 1, 1999 - The Department of Labor today released proposed regulations relating to the security of small pension plan assets. Specifically, the proposed amendments to regulations provide guidance on the circumstances under which small pension plans are exempt from the audit requirement under ERISA. Regulation 29 CFR 2520.104-46 provides a waiver of the annual audit requirement by an independent qualified public accountant for employee benefit plans with fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year. The proposed regulations would condition this waiver on enhanced disclosure information to participants and beneficiaries, and in certain circumstances, on increased bonding requirements. The purpose of the proposed regulations is to enhance the security of pension plan assets in small plans.
The Department has asked for specific comments on alternate conditions to obtain a waiver. In addition, the Department requests comments on the investment of small pension plan assets, specifically those that are "qualifying plan assets" as defined under the proposed regulations. Comments on the proposed regulations are due by January 31, 2000.