May began with a set of regulatory updates and reports worth noting for anyone in the employee benefits world. The following lists the key retirement-related topics to watch and includes links for you to learn more about each topic.
Last Monday was the deadline to sign Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) plan documents. If you are a plan sponsor who is required to sign, but you missed the deadline, the IRS has issued guidance for fixing the problem that includes detailed instructions on restoring the tax-qualified status of your plan by filing a submission with the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP).
Also, the Department of Labor has posted the preliminary publication of the Form 5500 Direct Filing Entity Bulletin Abstract of 2008 Form 5500 Annual Reports. This resource includes data on direct filing entities (DFEs) including counts of DFEs, counts of private pension plans invested in DFEs, and asset counts.
Another report was recently released adding to the data on public pension plans. The Public-Employee Retirement Systems State- and Locally-Administered Pensions Summary Report: 2010 presents data on state- and locally administered public pension systems based on information collected from the 2010 annual survey of public-employee retirement systems. The data collected from these systems are for defined benefit (DB) plans only and do not include data for defined contribution (DC) plans or other postemployment benefit plans.
Spotlight on Social Security
Keeping tabs on Social Security earnings and benefit information just got easier. On May 1, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that Social Security statements are available online. In the press release announcing the online statements the SSA encouraged people to “get in the habit of checking their online Statement each year, around their birthday” to make sure their earnings are accurately reflected.
In other Social Security news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published the final issue of its Program Perspectives with the focus on how much private industry employers pay for legally required employee benefits. The publication looks at private employers’ Social Security costs, along with Medicare, federal and state unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
Check back here for more on new and updated regulations and how they affect you. To stay updated on recent regulatory developments, check out our Monthly Benefit News & Developments newsletter.