View Rule

View EO 12866 Meetings Printer-Friendly Version     Download RIN Data in XML

DOL/EBSA RIN: 1210-AA86 Publication ID: Fall 2001 
Title: ●Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVC Program) 
Abstract: Under ERISA section 502(c)(2) the Secretary of Labor is authorized to assess civil penalties of up to $1100 per day against plan administrators who fail or refuse to file complete and timely Form 5500 Series Annual Returns/Reports. The Secretary may waive all or part of the civil penalty upon showing by the plan administrator of reasonable cause for failure to file a timely annual report. The Department determined that the possible assessment of these civil penalties may deter certain delinquent filers from voluntarily complying with the annual reporting requirements under title I of ERISA and adopted, on April 27, 1995, the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) Program which was published as a Federal Register rule-related notice (60 FR 20874). The DFVC Program permits delinquent plan administrators, who are otherwise subject to the assessment of higher civil penalties under ERISA section 502(c)(2), to pay reduced civil penalties for voluntarily complying with their annual reporting obligations under title I of ERISA. PWBA is adopting modifications to the DFVC Program to further encourage and facilitate voluntary compliance by plan administrators who are delinquent in filing annual reports under title I of ERISA. The modifications will also simplify the procedures governing participation in the DFVC Program and conform the program's provisions to the ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST). 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 29 USC 1132   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: Title I of ERISA authorizes the Secretary of Labor to assess civil penalties of up to $1100 per day against plan administrators who fail or refuse to file complete and timely Form 5500 Annual Returns/Reports for employee benefit plans. ERISA also authorizes the Secretary to waive all or part of the civil penalty upon a showing of reasonable cause for failure to file a timely report. The DFVC Program, adopted in 1995, permits delinquent plan administrators, who are otherwise subject to the assessment of higher civil penalties to pay reduced civil penalties for voluntarily complying with their annual reporting obligations under Title I of ERISA. The modifications to the DFVC Program provided by this rulemaking will further encourage and facilitate voluntary compliance by plan administrators, simplify the procedures governing participation in the Program, and conform the Program to the ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST).

Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 502(c)(2) authorizes the Secretary of Labor to assess the civil penalties described above upon plan administrators who are delinquent in fulfilling their annual reporting requirements with respect to employee benefit plans. A notice adopting the DFVC Program was published by the Department in the Federal Register on April 27, 1995, at 60 FR 20874. This notice will modify that Program.

Alternatives: The DFVC Program is essentially a deregulatory initiative, and participation in the program is entirely voluntary. PWBA has determined that this approach is more flexible, efficient and protective of plans than regulatory alternatives which do not serve to encourage voluntary compliance with the statutory annual reporting requirements for employee benefit plans.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Adoption of the DFVC Program modifications incorporated in this initiative will not impose increased costs upon participants, but will instead simplify the procedures for participation in the Program and facilitate compliance. Since participation in the Program is entirely voluntary, plan administrators would not be likely to participate if the costs in doing so were to exceed the benefits.

Risks: Failure to adopt the modifications to the DFVC Program represented by this rulemaking would complicate compliance with ERISA's reporting requirements by plan administrators and may serve to discourage timely and complete reporting with regard to the operation of employee benefit plans.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Modified Enforcement Policy  12/00/2001    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Eric A. Raps
Pension Law Specialist
Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
Room N5669, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, FP Building,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-8500