29 CFR 5.29 - Specific fringe benefits.
(a) The act lists all types of fringe benefits which the Congress considered to be common in the construction industry as a whole. These include the following: Medical or hospital care, pensions on retirement or death, compensation for injuries or illness resulting from occupational activity, or insurance to provide any of the foregoing, unemployment benefits, life insurance, disability and sickness insurance, or accident insurance, vacation and holiday pay, defrayment of costs of apprenticeship or other similar programs, or other bona fide fringe benefits, but only where the contractor or subcontractor is not required by other Federal, State, or local law to provide any of such benefits.
(b) The legislative history indicates that it was not the intent of the Congress to impose specific standards relating to administration of fringe benefits. It was assumed that the majority of fringe benefits arrangements of this nature will be those which are administered in accordance with requirements of section 302(c)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended (S. Rep. No. 963, p. 5).
(c) The term “other bona fide fringe benefits” is the so-called “open end” provision. This was included so that new fringe benefits may be recognized by the Secretary as they become prevailing. It was pointed out that a particular fringe benefit need not be recognized beyond a particular area in order for the Secretary to find that it is prevailing in that area. (S. Rep. No. 963, p. 6).
(d) The legislative reports indicate that, to insure against considering and giving credit to any and all fringe benefits, some of which might be illusory or not genuine, the qualification was included that such fringe benefits must be “bona fide” (H. Rep. No. 308, p. 4; S. Rep. No. 963, p. 6). No difficulty is anticipated in determining whether a particular fringe benefit is “bona fide” in the ordinary case where the benefits are those common in the construction industry and which are established under a usual fund, plan, or program. This would be typically the case of those fringe benefits listed in paragraph (a) of this section which are funded under a trust or insurance program. Contractors may take credit for contributions made under such conventional plans without requesting the approval of the Secretary of Labor under § 5.5(a)(1)(iv).
(e) Where the plan is not of the conventional type described in the preceding paragraph, it will be necessary for the Secretary to examine the facts and circumstances to determine whether they are “bona fide” in accordance with requirements of the act. This is particularly true with respect to unfunded plans. Contractors or subcontractors seeking credit under the act for costs incurred for such plans must request specific permission from the Secretary under § 5.5(a)(1)(iv).
(f) The act excludes fringe benefits which a contractor or subcontractor is obligated to provide under other Federal, State, or local law. No credit may be taken under the act for the payments made for such benefits. For example, payment for workmen's compensation insurance under either a compulsory or elective State statute are not considered payments for fringe benefits under the Act. While each situation must be separately considered on its own merits, payments made for travel, subsistence or to industry promotion funds are not normally payments for fringe benefits under the Act. The omission in the Act of any express reference to these payments, which are common in the construction industry, suggests that these payments should not normally be regarded as bona fide fringe benefits under the Act.