29 CFR 2550.404a-3 - Safe harbor for distributions from terminated individual account plans.

§ 2550.404a-3 Safe harbor for distributions from terminated individual account plans.
(a) General.
(1) This section provides a safe harbor under which a fiduciary (including a qualified termination administrator, within the meaning of § 2578.1(g) of this chapter) of a terminated individual account plan, as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, will be deemed to have satisfied its duties under section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (the Act)), 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., in connection with a distribution described in paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) This section shall apply to an individual account plan only if—
(i) In the case of an individual account plan that is an abandoned plan within the meaning of § 2578.1 of this chapter, such plan was intended to be maintained as a tax-qualified plan in accordance with the requirements of section 401(a), 403(a), or 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Code); or
(ii) In the case of any other individual account plan, such plan is maintained in accordance with the requirements of section 401(a), 403(a), or 403 (b) of the Code at the time of the distribution.
(3) The standards set forth in this section apply solely for purposes of determining whether a fiduciary meets the requirements of this safe harbor. Such standards are not intended to be the exclusive means by which a fiduciary might satisfy his or her responsibilities under the Act with respect to making distributions described in this section.
(b) Distributions. This section shall apply to a distribution from a terminated individual account plan if, in connection with such distribution:
(1) The participant or beneficiary, on whose behalf the distribution will be made, was furnished notice in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section or, in the case of an abandoned plan, § 2578.1(d)(2)(vi) of this chapter, and
(2) The participant or beneficiary failed to elect a form of distribution within 30 days of the furnishing of the notice described paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(c) Safe harbor. A fiduciary that meets the conditions of paragraph (d) of this section shall, with respect to a distribution described in paragraph (b) of this section, be deemed to have satisfied its duties under section 404(a) of the Act with respect to the distribution of benefits, selection of a transferee entity described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section, and the investment of funds in connection with the distribution.
(d) Conditions. A fiduciary shall qualify for the safe harbor described in paragraph (c) of this section if:
(1) The distribution described in paragraph (b) of this section is made—
(i) To an individual retirement plan within the meaning of section 7701(a)(37) of the Code;
(ii) In the case of a distribution on behalf of a designated beneficiary (as defined by section 401(a)(9)(E) of the Code) who is not the surviving spouse of the deceased participant, to an inherited individual retirement plan (within the meaning of section 402(c)(11) of the Code) established to receive the distribution on behalf of the nonspouse beneficiary; or
(iii) In the case of a distribution by a qualified termination administrator with respect to which the amount to be distributed is $1000 or less and that amount is less than the minimum amount required to be invested in an individual retirement plan product offered by the qualified termination administrator to the public at the time of the distribution, to:
(A) An interest-bearing federally insured bank or savings association account in the name of the participant or beneficiary,
(B) The unclaimed property fund of the State in which the participant's or beneficiary's last known address is located, or
(C) An individual retirement plan (described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section) offered by a financial institution other than the qualified termination administrator to the public at the time of the distribution.
(2) Except with respect to distributions to State unclaimed property funds (described in paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(B) of this section), the fiduciary enters into a written agreement with the transferee entity which provides:
(i) The distributed funds shall be invested in an investment product designed to preserve principal and provide a reasonable rate of return, whether or not such return is guaranteed, consistent with liquidity (except that distributions under paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(A) of this section to a bank or savings account are not required to be invested in such a product);
(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, the investment product shall—
(A) Seek to maintain, over the term of the investment, the dollar value that is equal to the amount invested in the product by the individual retirement plan (described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section), and
(B) Be offered by a State or federally regulated financial institution, which shall be: a bank or savings association, the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; a credit union, the member accounts of which are insured within the meaning of section 101(7) of the Federal Credit Union Act; an insurance company, the products of which are protected by State guaranty associations; or an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940;
(iii) All fees and expenses attendant to the transferee plan (described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section) or account (described in paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(A) of this section), including investments of such plan, (e.g., establishment charges, maintenance fees, investment expenses, termination costs and surrender charges), shall not exceed the fees and expenses charged by the provider of the plan or account for comparable plans or accounts established for reasons other than the receipt of a distribution under this section; and
(iv) The participant or beneficiary on whose behalf the fiduciary makes a distribution shall have the right to enforce the terms of the contractual agreement establishing the plan (described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section) or account (described in paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(A) of this section), with regard to his or her transferred account balance, against the plan or account provider.
(3) Both the fiduciary's selection of a transferee plan (described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section) or account (described in paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(A) of this section) and the investment of funds would not result in a prohibited transaction under section 406 of the Act, unless such actions are exempted from the prohibited transaction provisions by a prohibited transaction exemption issued pursuant to section 408(a) of the Act.
(e) Notice to participants and beneficiaries—
(1) Content. Each participant or beneficiary of the plan shall be furnished a notice written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant and containing the following:
(i) The name of the plan;
(ii) A statement of the account balance, the date on which the amount was calculated, and, if relevant, an indication that the amount to be distributed may be more or less than the amount stated in the notice, depending on investment gains or losses and the administrative cost of terminating the plan and distributing benefits;
(iii) A description of the distribution options available under the plan and a request that the participant or beneficiary elect a form of distribution and inform the plan administrator (or other fiduciary) identified in paragraph (e)(1)(vii) of this section of that election;
(iv) A statement explaining that, if a participant or beneficiary fails to make an election within 30 days from receipt of the notice, the plan will distribute the account balance of the participant or beneficiary to an individual retirement plan (i.e., individual retirement account or annuity described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section) and the account balance will be invested in an investment product designed to preserve principal and provide a reasonable rate of return and liquidity;
(v) A statement explaining what fees, if any, will be paid from the participant or beneficiary's individual retirement plan (described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section), if such information is known at the time of the furnishing of this notice;
(vi) The name, address and phone number of the individual retirement plan (described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) or (d)(1)(ii) of this section) provider, if such information is known at the time of the furnishing of this notice; and
(vii) The name, address, and telephone number of the plan administrator (or other fiduciary) from whom a participant or beneficiary may obtain additional information concerning the termination.
(2) Manner of furnishing notice.
(i) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a notice shall be furnished to each participant or beneficiary in accordance with the requirements of § 2520.104b-1(b)(1) of this chapter to the last known address of the participant or beneficiary; and
(ii) In the case of a notice that is returned to the plan as undeliverable, the plan fiduciary shall, consistent with its duties under section 404(a)(1) of ERISA, take steps to locate the participant or beneficiary and provide notice prior to making the distribution. If, after such steps, the fiduciary is unsuccessful in locating and furnishing notice to a participant or beneficiary, the participant or beneficiary shall be deemed to have been furnished the notice and to have failed to make an election within 30 days for purposes of paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
(f) Model notice. The appendix to this section contains a model notice that may be used to discharge the notification requirements under this section. Use of the model notice is not mandatory. However, use of an appropriately completed model notice will be deemed to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section.
[71 FR 20850, Apr. 21, 2006; 71 FR 29219, May 19, 2006; 72 FR 7520, Feb. 15, 2007; 73 FR 58463, Oct. 7, 2008]

Title 29 published on 2013-07-01

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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 2550 after this date.

  • 2014-08-21; vol. 79 # 162 - Thursday, August 21, 2014
    1. 79 FR 49469 - Request for Information Regarding Standards for Brokerage Windows in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans
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      DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Employee Benefits Security Administration
      Request for information.
      Comments must be submitted on or before November 19, 2014.
      29 CFR Parts 2520 and 2550