Summary: H.R.9544 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.9544. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/25/1973)

Multiprotection of Employee Retirement Income and Trust Act - Declares it to be the policy of this Act to protect interstate commerce and the interests of participants in employee benefit plans and their beneficiaries, by requiring the disclosure and reporting to participants and beneficiaries of financial and other information with respect thereto, by establishing standards of fiduciary conduct, responsibility, and obligation upon all persons who exercise any powers of control, management, or dispositions with respect to employee benefit funds or have authority or responsibility to do so, or have authority or responsibility in the administration of employee benefit plans, and by providing for appropriate remedies, sanctions, and ready access to the Federal courts.

Title I: Fiduciary Responsibility and Disclosure - Provides that this title shall apply to any employee benefit plan if it is established or maintained by any employer engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce, or both. Provides that the administrator of an employee benefit plan shall cause to be published in accordance with this Act to each participant or beneficiary covered thereunder a description of the plan and an annual financial report.

States that such description shall be published within 270 days after such plan is established and shall be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant.

Provides that an annual report shall be published with respect to any employee benefit plan to which this title applies. Sets forth the information that shall be contained in such report.

Provides that the administrator of any employee benefit plan subject to this Act shall file with the Secretary of Labor a copy of the plan description and each annual report.

States that the Secretary may reject any such filing after notice, hearing, and determination by the Secretary that such filing is incomplete for the purpose of this title.

Sets forth criminal penalties for intentional violations of this title. Provides that civil actions may be brought under this title by a participant or beneficiary: (1) for personal liability to such participant or beneficiary for failure to provide information required under this Act; or (2) to recover benefits due him under the terms of his plan or to clarify his rights to future benefits. Authorizes such actions by: (1) the Secretary, or by a participant, beneficiary or fiduciary, for appropriate relief under the fudiciary responsibility provisions of this Act; or (2) by the Secretary to enjoin any act or practice which appears to him to violate any provision of this title.

Provides that the contents of the descriptions and regular annual reports filed with the Secretary pursuant to this title shall be public information.

Provides for the bonding of persons who have fiduciary responsibilities under this title and of persons who handle funds or other property of an employee benefit plan.

Sets forth the fiduciary responsibilities of the administrators of plans covered by this Act.

Sets forth provisions governing the distribution of net assets upon the termination of a pension plan.

Establishes an Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans to advise the Secretary with respect to the carrying out of his functions under this title.

Title II: Vesting - Provides that this title shall apply to any employee pension benefit plan if it is established or maintained by an employer engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting or by such employer together with any employee organization representing employees engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce; or if such plan is established or maintained by any employer or by any employer together with any employee organization and if, in the course of its activities, such plan, directly or indirectly, uses any means or instruments of transportation or communication in interstate commerce or the mails.

Excludes from the coverage of this title any employee pension benefit plan if: it is administered by the Federal Government or by an agency or instrumentality of the Federal Government: it is established for the benefit of self-employed individual or owner-employees; it covers not more than 25 participants; it is established and maintained outside the United States primarily for the benefit of persons who are not citizens of the United States and the situs of the fund is maintained outside the United States; or such plan is unfunded and established primarily to provide deferred compensation for a select group of management employees.

Specifies that no pension plan subject to this title may provide as a condition of eligibility a period of service longer than 1 year or age higher than 25 years. Establishes certain nonforfeitable rights on the part of employees to receive benefits in accordance with specified categories and requirements. Prohibits any plan from providing for forfeiture of accrued employee beenfits. Stipulates that in computing the period of service under a plan, the employee's entire service with the contributing employer must be considered, except in specified instances.

Title III: Funding - Provides that this title applies to the same employee benefit pension plans as does title II and excludes from coverage those plans excluded under title II.

States that the minimum contribution to any pension plan for each plan year beginning after the effective date of this title shall be equal to the excess of: (1) the sum of the minimum standard contributions for each plan year beginning after the effective date of this title, over (2) the total of the amounts contributed to or under the plan for each of the preceding plan years beginning after the effective date of this title.

Requires the administrator of the plan to file an annual statement with the Secretary containing the following information: (1) the numbers of years the plan has been in effect; (2) the date and amount of the contribution made by the plan for the plan year for which the report is filed and contributions for prior plan years not previously reported; and (3) the amount of the minimum contribution, the normal costs, accrued liabilities, present value of accrued nonforfeitable benefits, value of assets, an identification of other benefits, and a statement of the other facts and actuarial assumptions used in the calculation of the minimum contribution under this title.

Provides that whenever the required payment cannot be made by the employer or the other contributing parties, the Secretary may waive part or all of the minimum contributions for that fiscal year, and prescribe an additional period of not more than 5 years for the amortization of the funding deficiency occurring in that fiscal year.

Prohibits any merger with another pension plan unless a qualified actuary: (1) determines that each participant in each plan would receive a termination benefit equal to that which he would have received before the merger; and (2) includes such determination in the next year's funding status report.

Title IV: Registration, Enforcement, and Miscellaneous Provisions - Requires the registration with the Secretary of plans covered under this Act. Empowers the Secretary to petition any U.S. district court having jurisdiction to require compliance with the registration provisions of this title. Sets forth provisions concerning civil enforcement of the vesting and funding titles of this Act.

Establishes a Variation Appeal Board to hear and determine appeals from decisions denying variations under titles II and III.

Authorizes the Secretary to undertake research studies on: (1) the effects of this Act upon the provisions and costs of pension plans; (2) the role of private pensions in meeting the economic security needs of the nation; and (3) the operation of public and private pension plans.

Provides for cooperation and mutual assistance by other Federal agencies and departments.

States that it shall be unlawful for any person to discharge, fire, or discriminate against a participant or beneficiary for exercising any right extended under this Act.

Stipulates that titles II and III of this Act supersede any and all State and local laws relating to the vesting, eligibility, and funding responsibilities of persons acting on behalf of employee pension benefit plans.