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29 U.S. Code § 1028 - Reliance on administrative interpretations

In any criminal proceeding under section 1131 of this title, based on any act or omission in alleged violation of this part or section 1112 of this title, no person shall be subject to any liability or punishment for or on account of the failure of such person to (1) comply with this part or section 1112 of this title, if he pleads and proves that the act or omission complained of was in good faith, in conformity with, and in reliance on any regulation or written ruling of the Secretary, or (2) publish and file any information required by any provision of this part if he pleads and proves that he published and filed such information in good faith, and in conformity with any regulation or written ruling of the Secretary issued under this part regarding the filing of such reports. Such a defense, if established, shall be a bar to the action or proceeding, notwithstanding that (A) after such act or omission, such interpretation or opinion is modified or rescinded or is determined by judicial authority to be invalid or of no legal effect, or (B) after publishing or filing the annual reports and other reports required by this subchapter, such publication or filing is determined by judicial authority not to be in conformity with the requirements of this part.

Editorial Notes

1997—Pub. L. 105–34, which directed the amendment of cl. (2)(B) by substituting “annual reports” for “plan descriptions, annual reports,”, was executed by making the substitution for “plan description, annual reports,” to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1989—Pub. L. 101–239 substituted “act or omission” for “act of omission” before “complained of”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–239 effective, except as otherwise provided, as if originally included in the provision of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, Pub. L. 93–406, to which such amendment relates, see section 7894(i) of Pub. L. 101–239, set out as a note under section 1002 of this title.


Secretary authorized, effective Sept. 2, 1974, to promulgate regulations wherever provisions of this subchapter call for the promulgation of regulations, see section 1031 of this title.