U.S. Labor Department Announces New Online Tools For Workers And Plan Administrators

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Press release, 08-1345-NAT, September 22, 2008

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today announced new online tools to give workers access to financial information and an improved calculator that makes it easier for employers and plan administrators to pay online civil penalties for delinquent filings of annual reports under the agency’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP).

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 required the department to post on its Web site actuarial information of pension plans filed with the Form 5500 annual reports. The site provides user friendly ways for workers and plan officials to search for plan information by such categories as plan name, employer identification number or date.

The DFVCP encourages plan administrators to file already overdue annual reports required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Delinquent filers can avoid potentially higher civil penalty assessments by satisfying the program’s requirements and voluntarily paying a reduced penalty amount.

Employers and plan administrators can access the new feature that allows them to electronically pay civil penalties. The calculator uses the Department of the Treasury’s pay.gov financial management system. Users now can accurately and simply calculate the amount of civil penalties and pay those penalties online with a credit or debit card as an alternative to paying by check.

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