29 CFR 5.28 - Unfunded plans.
(a) The costs to a contractor or subcontractor which may be reasonably anticipated in providing benefits of the types described in the act pursuant to an enforceable commitment to carry out a financially responsible plan or program, are considered fringe benefits within the meaning of the act (see 1(b)(2)(B) of the act). The legislative history suggests that these provisions were intended to permit the consideration of fringe benefits meeting, among others, these requirements and which are provided from the general assets of a contractor or subcontractor. (Report of the House Committee on Education and Labor, H. Rep. No. 308, 88th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 4.)
(b) No type of fringe benefit is eligible for consideration as a so-called unfunded plan unless:
(1) It could be reasonably anticipated to provide benefits described in the act;
(2) It represents a commitment that can be legally enforced;
(3) It is carried out under a financially responsible plan or program; and
(4) The plan or program providing the benefits has been communicated in writing to the laborers and mechanics affected. (See S. Rep. No. 963, p. 6.)
(c) It is in this manner that the act provides for the consideration of unfunded plans or programs in finding prevailing wages and in ascertaining compliance with the Act. At the same time, however, there is protection against the use of this provision as a means of avoiding the act's requirements. The words “reasonably anticipated” are intended to require that any unfunded plan or program be able to withstand a test which can perhaps be best described as one of actuarial soundness. Moreover, as in the case of other fringe benefits payable under the act, an unfunded plan or program must be “bona fide” and not a mere simulation or sham for avoiding compliance with the act. (See S. Rep. No. 963, p. 6.) The legislative history suggests that in order to insure against the possibility that these provisions might be used to avoid compliance with the act, the committee contemplates that the Secretary of Labor in carrying out his responsibilities under Reorganization Plan No. 14 of 1950, may direct a contractor or subcontractor to set aside in an account assets which, under sound actuarial principles, will be sufficient to meet the future obligation under the plan. The preservation of this account for the purpose intended would, of course, also be essential. (S. Rep. No. 963, p. 6.) This is implemented by the contractual provisions required by § 5.5(a)(1)(iv).