Summary: H.R.5972 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5972. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/27/1990)

Employee Retirement Income Security Act Amendments of 1990 - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to require each multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) to file with the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) an annual registration statement beginning in 1991. Requires that copies of such statements be transmitted to the Insurance Commissioners of States in which the MEWA currently conducts, or intends to conduct, business. Makes specified persons responsible for such filing.

Repeals the limited scope audit exemption for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 1992.

Requires under conditions for being considered a qualified public accountant for ERISA purposes, after January 1, 1994, that such a person has undergone a peer review of his or her accounting and auditing practice with respect to employee benefit plans during the three-year period immediately preceding an engagement to conduct an audit under specified ERISA provisions.

Requires the following to have a written policy governing the voting of any securities held by the plan and to provide a copy of such policy to the plan administrator: (1) investment managers (for the securities they manage); (2) named fiduciaries who have the authority to direct a trustee in matters related to the exercise of any such voting rights; and (3) trustees, to the extent they retain the power to exercise any such voting rights. Requires plan administrators, upon request of any participant or beneficiary and for a reasonable charge, to furnish a copy of the voting policy of any person responsible for exercising, or directing the exercise of, any voting rights of securities held by the plan.

Requires a court, in a civil action brought by a participant or beneficiary with respect to certain benefit claims, to review the fiduciary's decision without according any deference to any of the fiduciary's findings or conclusions, if the action involves a matter previously decided by a named fiduciary who has a significant interest which would be adversely affected by a decision in favor of the participant or beneficiary. Allows deference to be accorded such findings and conclusions to the extent that they affirm those of a party who did not have such an interest.

Requires the court, in any action brought by a participant, beneficiary, or fiduciary under fiduciary responsibility provisions of ERISA in which judgement is awarded in his or her favor, to award such a plaintiff reasonable attorney and expert witness fees and costs. Makes such requirement inapplicable to actions arising from claims for failure to pay benefits or to approve requests for clarification of rights to future benefits. Allows the court in its discretion to award fees and costs to a party who is not entitled to such mandatory fees and costs.

Amends both ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code to double (from five percent to ten percent) the amount of the civil penalty and excise tax for a plan's engaging in a prohibited transaction.

Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to make a discretionary award of up to ten percent of the civil penalty collected to persons who provide information leading to the initiation of an investigation or the bringing of an action which resulted in the collection of any civil penalties for violations by fiduciaries under ERISA.