29 CFR 2520.104-46 - Waiver of examination and report of an independent qualified public accountant for employee benefit plans with fewer than 100 participants.

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§ 2520.104-46 Waiver of examination and report of an independent qualified public accountant for employee benefit plans with fewer than 100 participants.
(a) General.
(1) Under the authority of section 103(a)(3)(A) of the Act, the Secretary may waive the requirements of section 103(a)(3)(A) in the case of a plan for which simplified annual reporting has been prescribed in accordance with section 104(a)(2) of the Act.
(2) Under the authority of section 104(a)(3) of the Act the Secretary may exempt any employee welfare benefit plan from certain annual reporting requirements.
(b) Application.
(1)
(i) The administrator of an employee pension benefit plan for which simplified annual reporting has been prescribed in accordance with section 104(a)(2)(A) of the Act and § 2520.104-41 is not required to comply with the annual reporting requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section, provided that with respect to each plan year for which the waiver is claimed—
(A) (1) At least 95 percent of the assets of the plan constitute qualifying plan assets within the meaning of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, or
(2) Any person who handles assets of the plan that do not constitute qualifying plan assets is bonded in accordance with the requirements of section 412 of the Act and the regulations issued thereunder, except that the amount of the bond shall not be less than the value of such assets;
(B) The summary annual report, described in § 2520.104b-10, includes, in addition to any other required information:
(1) Except for qualifying plan assets described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(A), (B) and (F) of this section, the name of each regulated financial institution holding (or issuing) qualifying plan assets and the amount of such assets reported by the institution as of the end of the plan year;
(2) The name of the surety company issuing the bond, if the plan has more than 5% of its assets in non-qualifying plan assets;
(3) A notice indicating that participants and beneficiaries may, upon request and without charge, examine, or receive copies of, evidence of the required bond and statements received from the regulated financial institutions describing the qualifying plan assets; and
(4) A notice stating that participants and beneficiaries should contact the Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration if they are unable to examine or obtain copies of the regulated financial institution statements or evidence of the required bond, if applicable; and
(C) in response to a request from any participant or beneficiary, the administrator, without charge to the participant or beneficiary, makes available for examination, or upon request furnishes copies of, each regulated financial institution statement and evidence of any bond required by paragraph (b)(1)(i)(A)(2).
(ii) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1), the term “qualifying plan assets” means:
(A) Qualifying employer securities, as defined in section 407(d)(5) of the Act and the regulations issued thereunder;
(B) Any loan meeting the requirements of section 408(b)(1) of the Act and the regulations issued thereunder;
(C) Any assets held by any of the following institutions:
(1) A bank or similar financial institution as defined in § 2550.408b-4(c);
(2) An insurance company qualified to do business under the laws of a state;
(3) An organization registered as a broker-dealer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; or
(4) Any other organization authorized to act as a trustee for individual retirement accounts under section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(D) Shares issued by an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940;
(E) Investment and annuity contracts issued by any insurance company qualified to do business under the laws of a state; and,
(F) In the case of an individual account plan, any assets in the individual account of a participant or beneficiary over which the participant or beneficiary has the opportunity to exercise control and with respect to which the participant or beneficiary is furnished, at least annually, a statement from a regulated financial institution referred to in paragraphs (b)(1)(ii)(C), (D) or (E) of this section describing the assets held (or issued) by such institution and the amount of such assets.
(iii)
(A) For purposes of this paragraph (b)(1), the determination of the percentage of all plan assets consisting of qualifying plan assets with respect to a given plan year shall be made in the same manner as the amount of the bond is determined pursuant to §§ 2580.412-11, 2580.412-14, and 2580.412-15.
(B) Examples. Plan A, which reports on a calendar year basis, has total assets of $600,000 as of the end of the 1999 plan year. Plan A's assets, as of the end of year, include: investments in various bank, insurance company and mutual fund products of $520,000; investments in qualifying employer securities of $40,000; participant loans, meeting the requirements of ERISA section 408(b)(1), totaling $20,000; and a $20,000 investment in a real estate limited partnership. Because the only asset of the plan that does not constitute a “qualifying plan asset” is the $20,000 real estate investment and that investment represents less than 5% of the plan's total assets, no bond would be required under the proposal as a condition for the waiver for the 2000 plan year. By contrast, Plan B also has total assets of $600,000 as of the end of the 1999 plan year, of which $558,000 constitutes “qualifying plan assets” and $42,000 constitutes non-qualifying plan assets. Because 7%—more than 5%—of Plan B's assets do not constitute “qualifying plan assets,” Plan B, as a condition to electing the waiver for the 2000 plan year, must ensure that it has a fidelity bond in an amount equal to at least $42,000 covering persons handling non-qualifying plan assets. Inasmuch as compliance with section 412 requires the amount of bonds to be not less than 10% of the amount of all the plan's funds or other property handled, the bond acquired for section 412 purposes may be adequate to cover the non-qualifying plan assets without an increase (i.e., if the amount of the bond determined to be needed for the relevant persons for section 412 purposes is at least $42,000). As demonstrated by the foregoing example, where a plan has more than 5% of its assets in non-qualifying plan assets, the bond required by the proposal is for the total amount of the non-qualifying plan assets, not just the amount in excess of 5%.
(2) The administrator of an employee welfare benefit plan that covers fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year is not required to comply with annual reporting requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section.
(c) Waiver. The administrator of a plan described in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section is not required to:
(1) Engage an independent qualified public accountant to conduct an examination of the financial statements of the plan;
(2) Include within the annual report the financial statements and schedules prescribed in section 103(b) of the Act and §§ 2520.103-1, 2520.103-2, and 2520.103-10; and
(3) Include within the annual report a report of an independent qualified public accountant as prescribed in section 103(a)(3)(A) of the Act and § 2520.103-1.
(d) Limitations.
(1) The waiver described in this section does not affect the obligation of a plan described in paragraph (b) (1) or (2) of this section to file a Form 5500 “Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan,” including any required schedules or statements prescribed by the instructions to the form. See § 2520.104-41.
(2) For purposes of this section, an employee pension benefit plan for which simplified annual reporting has been prescribed includes an employee pension benefit plan which elects to file a Form 5500 as a small plan pursuant to § 2520.103-1(d) with respect to the plan year for which the waiver is claimed. See § 2520.104-41.
(3) For purposes of this section, an employee welfare benefit plan that covers fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year includes an employee welfare benefit plan which elects to file a Form 5500 as a small plan pursuant to § 2520.103-1(d) with respect to the plan year for which the waiver is claimed. See § 2520.104-41.
(4) A plan that elects to file a Form 5500 as a large plan pursuant to § 2520.103-1(d) may not claim a waiver under this section.
(e) Model notice. The appendix to this section contains model language for inclusion in the summary annual report to assist plan administrators in complying with the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(i)(B) of this section to avail themselves of the waiver of examination and report of the independent qualified public accountant for employee benefit plans with fewer than 100 participants. Use of the model language is not mandatory. In order to use the model language in the plan's summary annual report, administrators must, in addition to any other information required to be in the summary annual report, select among alternative language and add relevant information where appropriate in the model language. Items of information that are not applicable to a particular plan may be deleted. Use of the model language, appropriately modified and supplemented, will be deemed to satisfy the notice content requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(i)(B) of this section.
[43 FR 10151, Mar. 10, 1978, as amended at 43 FR 14010, Apr. 4, 1978; 45 FR 51447, Aug. 1, 1980; 54 FR 8629, Mar. 1, 1989; 65 FR 21085, Apr. 19, 2000; 65 FR 62973, Oct. 19, 2000; 72 FR 64728, Nov. 16, 2007]

Title 29 published on 2013-07-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 29.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-11-10; vol. 79 # 217 - Monday, November 10, 2014
    1. 79 FR 66617 - Revisions to Annual Return/Report—Multiple-Employer Plans
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Employee Benefits Security Administration
      Interim final rule with request for comments.
      Effective Date. This interim final rule is effective on November 10, 2014. Comment Date. Comments are due on or before January 9, 2015. We will consider public comments in connection with publishing a final rule that would apply no earlier than the 2015 Form 5500. Applicability Dates. The multiple-employer plan reporting requirements under the CSEC Act apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2013, which created an immediate need for changes to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF. Accordingly, the CSEC Act form changes in this document will be applicable beginning with the 2014 Form 5500 Annual Returns/Reports filed for plan years beginning after December 31, 2013.
      29 CFR Part 2520

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Title 29 published on 2013-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 29 CFR 2520 after this date.

  • 2014-11-10; vol. 79 # 217 - Monday, November 10, 2014
    1. 79 FR 66617 - Revisions to Annual Return/Report—Multiple-Employer Plans
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Employee Benefits Security Administration
      Interim final rule with request for comments.
      Effective Date. This interim final rule is effective on November 10, 2014. Comment Date. Comments are due on or before January 9, 2015. We will consider public comments in connection with publishing a final rule that would apply no earlier than the 2015 Form 5500. Applicability Dates. The multiple-employer plan reporting requirements under the CSEC Act apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2013, which created an immediate need for changes to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF. Accordingly, the CSEC Act form changes in this document will be applicable beginning with the 2014 Form 5500 Annual Returns/Reports filed for plan years beginning after December 31, 2013.
      29 CFR Part 2520