BENEFITS BYTE

May 7, 2004
BB 04—54

In this issue:

  • PBGC Proposes New Penalty Structure For Delinquent Underfunding Notices
  • Council Web Site Prepares for Overhaul — What Would You Like to See?

PBGC Proposes New Penalty Structure For Delinquent Underfunding Notices

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has proposed a new penalty structure for failure to inform participants when the plan is underfunded. The proposal, published May 7 in the Federal Register, would base the penalty primarily on the number of participants rather than the number of days of delinquency. The PBGC also announced it plans to expand enforcement of the rules, but provided a Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) for notices required for 2002 and 2003.

The proposed penalty would vary based upon whether the failure is a repeat violation and the timing of the correction in relation to a PBGC audit. For pre-audit corrections, the penalty would be $5 per participants for a first time violation and $20 per participant for a repeat violation. For post-audit corrections, the penalty would be $40 per participant for the first time and $100 per participant for repeat violations.

More details on the PBGC proposals, including the VCP, are available on the Council Web site. For more information, contact Jan Jacobson, Council director, retirement policy, at (202) 289-6700.

Council Web Site Prepares for Overhaul — What Would You Like to See?

When the American Benefits Council unveiled its new name in September 2000, we also brought forth a state-of-the-art Web site featuring "frames" — split screens that allow you to read material and navigate at the same time. Four years of ever-expanding policy issues, added member features, and constantly evolving technology have brought us to the time for a site upgrade.

As we prepare for renovations, the Council staff wants to hear from you about what you'd like to see in our next Web site configuration. What portions of the site would you like to have "one-click" access to? Are there idiosyncrasies about the current site that you'd like to see remedied? Have a favorite feature on another Web site you'd like to share with us to see if it would be helpful for Council members' needs?

Please share your thoughts with Deanna Johnson Keim, APR, Council director, communications, or Jason Hammersla, Council communications associate via e-mail or phone at (202) 289-6700. We look forward to hearing your ideas and comments, and to unveiling an updated site for you in the near future.

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.