Summary: H.R.4330 — 97th Congress (1981-1982)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4330. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/30/1981)

Retirement Income Incentives and Administrative Simplification Act of 1981 - Title I: Employee Benefit Administration - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to direct the President to establish, by the beginning of the second calendar year after enactment of this Act, the Employee Benefit Administration as an independent agency within the executive branch to be headed by a three member Board of Directors. Provides for the appointment as Board members: (1) "special liaison officers to the Administration" whose positions are established within the Offices of the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Treasury; and (2) an Executive Director appointed by the President. Vests in the Board all functions relating to the qualification of employee benefit plans under the Internal Revenue Code.

Transfers to the Board the responsibilities for administration and enforcement of: (1) the Welfare and Pension Disclosure Act; (2) Internal Revenue Code provisions relating to tax-qualified deferred compensation plans and certain other employee benefit plans; and (3) ERISA. Directs the President to transfer to the Board additional functions of any Federal agency as are deemed necessary to consolidate in the Administration all administrative and related functions regarding employee benefit plans. Directs the Board to promulgate regulations providing for the consolidation of all reports regarding employee benefit plans and governmental plans required under ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code.

Sets forth the duties and responsibilities of the Board, the Secretary of the Treasury, and other Federal agencies with respect to the coordination of functions under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Authorizes appropriations to the Administration for purposes of carrying out its functions.

Transfers the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (redesignated as the "Actuary Enrollment Board") to the Administration. Removes the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation from the Department of Labor and replaces its board of directors with that of the Administration.

Title II: Deduction by Certain Employees and Their Spouses for Contributions to Retirement Plans - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow employees who are participants in tax- qualified employer retirement plans an income tax deduction for contributions to such plans or to individual retirement plans. Limits the amount of such deduction to the amount by which the employee's compensation for the taxable year or $2,000, whichever is less, exceeds the sum of amounts contributed by the employer for an annuity contract and any amount of employment tax which would be paid if the employee were subject to the employment tax.

Increases from 70 1/2 years to 75 years: (1) the age by which an individual for whom an individual retirement account is created must receive the distributions from the account; and (2) the age of limitation for purposes of the bearing of interest on or the redemption of retirement bonds.

Title III: Amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 - Subtitle A: Amendments to Definitions - Amends ERISA to specify supplemental retirement income arrangements which are to be considered welfare plans rather than pension plans. Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to exempt by regulation any severance pay or supplemental income arrangement from provisions applicable to welfare plans and to provide alternative methods of compliance with any such provision. Conforms the definitions of "party in interest" and "governmental plan" with the Internal Revenue Code. Revises the definitions of "normal retirement age" and "relative."

Subtitle B: Amendments to Reporting and Disclosure Provisions - Eliminates requirements regarding the filing of a plan description with the Secretary of Labor. Requires, rather than allows, qualified public accountants and actuaries to rely on the correctness of actuarial or accounting matters certified to by an enrolled actuary or with respect to which a qualified public accountant has expressed an opinion, respectively, for purposes of the preparation of annual reports.

Allows a pension plan which is held in a trust consisting of the assets of two or more participating plans which are maintained by a single employer (or by two or more employers all of whom are members of the same controlled group) to elect to include in its annual report certain information regarding all of the assets of the trust in lieu of the information currently required to be reported by a plan. Eliminates the requirement that the present value of certain plan liabilities be included in the actuarial statement.

Revises requirements regarding simplified annual reports for pension plans with less than 100 participants.

Requires the distribution of updated summary plan descriptions every tenth year, rather than every fifth year, after the plan becomes subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements.

Modifies the requirement that a plan administrator furnish to a participant or benficiary a copy of certain financial statements to direct the administrator to post such statement at principal work sites together with a statement of the right of employee participants to receive copies of the latest annual report and summary plan description. Directs the Secretary of Labor to provide for alternative means by which such information may be communicated to participants. Limits to ten dollars the charge for a complete copy of the latest annual report or other instrument under which a plan is established or operated.

Specifies information required to be provided by an applicant for an advance determination by the Secretary of the Treasury that a plan is a tax-qualified deferred compensation plan.

Revises requirements regarding the disclosure to a participant or beneficiary of benefit rights and account information. Directs administrators to issue reports to certain plan participants who have separated from service stating the nature, amount, and form of the deferred vested benefit to which they are entitled. Requires employers to maintain records regarding each employee sufficient to determine the benefits due to the employee.

Prohibits public access to pension report information in computer-compatible form until a statement has been filed with the Secretary of Labor by the recipient of the information which provides assurances that the information will not be used for commercial purposes.

Requires, rather than allows, the Secretary to prescribe an alternative method of compliance with reporting requirements under certain circumstances. Specifies circumstances in which the administrator of a multiemployer plan may use an alternative method of information distribution.

Subtitle C: Amendments to Participation and Vesting Provisions - Permits the determination of pension plan eligibility on a plan year basis. Modifies provisions regarding the suspension of benefit payments by multiemployer plans, where the employee is employed in the same industry, trade or craft, and geographic area covered by the plan, to permit the term "employed" to include self-employment and work on an irregular basis.

Specifies that the notification and election requirement triggered by a change in vesting schedules shall be applicable only to employees who would be adversely affected by the change.

Makes 125 days of service in any maritime industry equivalent to 1,000 hours of service for purposes of satisfying benefit accrual requirements.

Allows a multiemployer plan to provide that a participant's accrued benefit upon separation is the sum of the different rates of benefit accrual for different periods of participation as defined by one or more fixed calendar dates or by employment in different bargaining units. Specifies that the normal retirement benefit, for purposes of computing the minimum accrued benefit to which a participant is entitled upon separation, shall be a projected normal retirement benefit.

Requires a plan offering an optional benefit form, in order not to be treated as having altered a participant's accrued benefit by reason of a change in actuarial assumptions, to set forth such assumptions in a separate document.

Requires plans in which a majority of employees are seasonal employees to use 500 hours, rather than 1000 hours, for purposes of defining a year of service.

Permits a period of service, in the case of a multiemployer plan, to qualify as a year of participation although a plan makes allowance for delinquent employer contributions.

Revises joint and survivor annuity requirements.

Allows the assignment of pension plan benefits pursuant to a specific State court decree of divorce, annulment, legal separation, or family support or a court order relating to marital property rights. Prescribes notification requirements with respect to any such assignment.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe methods of measuring service based upon the elapsed time of an employee's service.

Subtitle D: Amendments to Funding Provisions - Makes certain revisions with respect to funding, including a requirement that changes in funding method or plan year need be approved only when made more than once in a three-year period, and a requirement that a funding method take into account future benefit changes.

Subtitle E: Amendments to Fiduciary Responsibility Provisions - Excludes from the assets of a plan any assets of an insurer which fund the plan and which are not held in separate accounts, other than a contract or policy of insurance issued to the plan, solely by reason of such issuance. Revises provisions regarding the designation and responsibilities of fiduciaries.

Permits the return to an employer of an overpayment of withdrawal liability: (1) in the case of a multiemployer plan; and (2) in the case of a multiemployer plan maintained pursuant to collective bargaining agreements where it is determined that a contribution was made by a mistake of fact or law.

Relieves co-fiduciaries to whom a specific duty has not been allocated from liability for an act or omission by a named fiduciary to whom the duty has been allocated.

Revises the provisions regarding prohibited transactions by a fiduciary. Revises the definition of "qualifying employer real property" for purposes of the limitation on the acquisition and holding of real property by a plan. Modifies the coverage of the exemption from prohibited transactions effected by the Internal Revenue Code provision which taxes such transactions. Exempts from such prohibitions: (1) certain loans made by a defined contribution plan to a party in interest who is a substantial employer maintaining the plan; and (2) certain leases of personal property between such parties. Conforms certain provisions regarding transactions by parties in interest with provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Extends the prohibited transaction exemption procedure to owner-employees.

Excludes from the assets of a plan, for purposes of the prohibited transactions provision and the limitation on the acquisition and holding of employer securities and employer real property, assets in a pooled separate account of an insurer or in a collective investment fund of a bank supervised by the United States or a State. Allows an exclusion, for purposes of such limitation, if the insurer or bank provides a written assurance that the separate account or trust may not acquire any employer securities or employer real property issued by or leased to any employer or affiliate where the aggregate value of such property after such acquisition would exceed ten percent of the fair market value of the assets of the separate account or trust.

Permits indemnification by a plan against expenses or liability for losses incurred in connection with any administrative or judicial civil action or proceeding, subject to a determination that the fiduciary has acted in good faith.

Subtitle F: Amendments to Administration and Enforcement Provisions - Creates a civil cause of action for collection by a fiduciary of a multiemployer plan of delinquent employer contributions, subject to a six-year statute of limitations (three years after the date of actual knowledge of the cause of action).

Makes available to the Department of Labor for purposes of administering ERISA any amounts which become available through the public request of information.

Revises the composition of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans to require that one of the employer members be a representative of employers maintaining small plans.

Directs the Secretary of Labor to publish at least annually reports showing the number of plans and participants; amounts of assets, income, and expenses; and certain other information categorized by plan size and type.

Deems as preempted by ERISA certain provisions of State law: (1) regarding benefits provided by an insurance policy issued to an employee benefit plan; and (2) which treat a participant's interest in a plan as a security or similar right. Deems as not preempted by ERISA certain provisions of State law: (1) which require an insurance policy issued to a plan to permit a participant to convert or continue protection after the termination of the insurance coverage under the plan; and (2) which prohibit such an insurance policy from classifying health care services as ineligible for coverage solely because the provider is licensed as a provider of services other than those rendered by a medical doctor. Specifies that a participant's interest in a plan covered by ERISA shall not be considered a security or similar right for purposes of the Acts administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Subtitle G: Clarifying and Technical Amendments - Makes certain technical changes and corrections.

Subtitle H: Reports - Directs the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury to conduct jointly detailed studies of means by which: (1) administrative burdens of ERISA reporting requirements may be reduced; and (2) certain businesses and banking institutions may be enabled to develop master and prototype pension plans.

Title IV: Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 - Subtitle A: Amendments Related to Title III Amendments - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make conforming changes in accordance with the provisions of title III of this Act.

Subtitle B: Miscellaneous Amendments - Includes in the number of calendar years of active participation in a plan, for purposes of capital gains tax treatment of a portion of a lump sum distribution, active participation in another plan maintained by a predecessor employer or by a member of the same controlled group if the participant's employment was continuous between participation in both such plans. Includes such participation in the minimum period of service required for imposition of the separate tax on lump sum distributions. Revises the rule regarding aggregation of certain trusts and plans for purposes of determining the balance to the credit of an employee which becomes payable to the recipient.

Deems a separation from service to have occurred, for purposes of the definition of "lump sum distribution," if an employee has not worked in service covered by the plan for six consecutive months following severance of the employment relationship.

Subjects target benefit plans to the limitations on benefits and contributions imposed on defined benefit plans.

Permits the rollover into individual retirement accounts or retirement bonds of employee contributions used in calculating rollover amounts for purposes of the taxability of the beneficiary of an employees' trust. Treates such contributions as a source of a rollover amount paid or distributed out of an individual retirement account or annuity or transferred from retirement bonds.

Excludes from "acquisition indebtedness," for purposes of computing unrelated business taxable income, certain indebtedness to an insurer incurred by a tax-qualified deferred compensation plan.

Provides an actuarial adjustment of the average compensation limit on benefits and contributions imposed on defined benefit plans in the case of a participant whose service continues beyond normal retirement age.

Reduces from ten years to five years the period for amortization of past service or other supplementary pension or annuity credits for purposes of determining the amount contributed to pension trusts which is deductible. Increases from $7,500 to $15,000 the deductible amount of such contributions on behalf of self-employed individuals.

Specifies conditions under which a plan will be deemed not to have engaged in prohibited discrimination.

Permits certain plans to be considered non-discriminatory which meet specified benefit- compensation ratio requirements and: (1) exclude employees whose remuneration consists wholly of "wages" (as defined by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act); or (2) the contributions to or benefits from which based on remuneration not deemed "wages" differ from the contributions or benefits based on wages or differ because of retirement benefits created under State or Federal law.

Title V: Individual Retirement Payroll Deduction Plans for Employees Not Covered by Pension Plans - Amends ERISA to create a new title V, "Individual Retirement Payroll Deduction Plans for Employees Not Covered by Pension Plans," which requires a covered employer to maintain a plan under which eligible employees (those ineligible for coverage under certain pension or retirement plans) may elect to have payroll deductions applied to an individual retirement account or annuity or a retirement bond. Defines "covered employer" as a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who: (1) had at least 20 employees for each working day in each of at least 20 calendar weeks during the year; and (2) has been engaged in such industry throughout the preceding five-year period. Exempts from such requirement: (1) any covered employer with fewer than ten eligible employees at the close of the preceding calendar year; and (2) any employer who has conducted a referendum of eligible employees the results of which indicate that the number desiring a payroll deduction plan is less than the greater of ten percent of the number of such employees or ten.

Imposes civil penalties for failure to maintain such a plan or deduct wages in accordance with an election.

Title VI: Amendments Relating to Single-Employer Plans - Subtitle A: Amendments to Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 - Amends ERISA, with respect to plan termination insurance, to exempt from premium payment requirements any single-employer plan with fewer than 35 participants.

Directs the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (Corporation) to: (1) conduct studies, at least once every five years, to determine the premiums needed to maintain basic-benefit guarantee levels for multiemployer and single-employer plans and whether such levels may be increased without increasing the basic-benefit premium for the plans; (2) report such findings to the House Ways and Means and Education and Labor Committees and the Senate Finance and Labor and Human Resources Committees; and (3) transmit to such committees, if a premium increase is necessary or if basic-benefit guarantees may be increased, appropriate revised schedules.

Excludes from guaranteed benefits any benefits provided by a plan which become effective or any increase in benefits effected by a plan amendment occurring after the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings by or against the contributing sponsor or other actions are taken for the benefit of such sponsor's creditors. Defines "contributing sponsor" as a trade or business with employees who are retaining or earning credited service under a plan and which is contributing to the plan.

Revises procedures for termination of single-employer plans. Provides for the appointment of a trustee of such a plan upon the occurrence of an insurable event. Defines "insurable event" to mean that: (1) there is a liquidation of every contributing sponsor of the plan; (2) the Corporation determines that because of any partial liquidation, it becomes necessary to protect its own interests; or (3) a U.S. district court has determined, upon application of the Corporation, that the appointment of a trustee is necessitated by the financial condition of the plan. Sets forth conditions for the appointment of, and rights and powers of a trustee of a plan. Confers on U.S. district courts jurisdiction to stay certain proceedings with respect to the property of a plan.

Revises the requirements regarding reportable events.

Limits the payment of benefits attributable to employer contributions, in the event that bankruptcy proceedings by or against the contributing sponsor are initiated or other actions are taken for the benefit of such sponsor's creditors, to payment in the form of an annuity. Specifies exceptions to such limitation. Prohibits plan assets, in such event, from being used to purchase annuities other than those subject to allocation.

Requires notification to the Corporation by any person who knows or has reason to know of the occurrence of initiation of bankruptcy proceedings, other actions taken for the benefit of the contributing sponsor's creditors, or specified other steps taken to satisfy past due creditors' obligations.

Revises provisions regarding liabilities to the Corporation and withdrawal liability to multiple-employer plans. Defines "multiple-employer plan" as a single-employer plan maintained by at least two trades or businesses which are not under common control.

Sets forth rules for determining liability of prior contributing sponsors and trades or businesses which are members of a control group of which a prior contributing sponsor was a member.

Revises plan termination insurance requirements with respect to the filing of annual reports.

Treats as a trade or business, for the purposes of the rules regarding liabilities of contributing sponsors and employers, any trade or business which ceases to exist by reason of certain corporate reorganizations. Makes jointly and severally liable, for purposes of such rules, any trade or business which transferred its assets and any person to whom such assets are transferred, where a purpose of the transfer was evasion of liability.

Modifies the procedure for the enforcement of claims of liability to the Corporation.

Treats unpaid distribution contributions to a single-employer plan accruing before the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings with respect to a contributing sponsor as arising from service rendered and contributions accruing during such proceeds as administrative expenses if an insurable event occurs in the course of the proceedings. Specifies that if no insurable event occurs in the course of such proceedings, the contributing sponsor's obligation for payment of contributions shall be the same as that imposed under an assumed executory contract. Treats as ineffective, upon the occurrence of an insurable event with respect to a single-employer plan, a waiver of minimum funding requirements.

Subtitle B: Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to revise the definition of "accumulated funding deficiency," for purposes of determining whether a plan meets the minimum funding standard, as applied to insolvent plans (other than multiemployer plans). Adds a charge to the funding standard account.

Sets forth special rules for the charging and crediting of a funding standard account for any plan year ending after the termination of a single-employer plan for specified reasons.

Permits a plan sponsor, for any plan year of a plan other than a multiemployer plan, to determine the ability of the plan to pay benefits when due for the next three plan years if plan assets are less than three times the benefit payments. Deems such plans as insolvent if it is reasonably likely that the plan's available resources will be insufficient to pay benefits when due in any of the next three plan years. Requires such insolvent plans to make contributions equal to the amount necessary for the plan year to pay benefits when due.

Treats as deductible contributions of an employer to a plan any amount paid by an employer to a terminated single-employer plan. Revises the definition of "employer," for purposes of such deduction, minimum funding standards, and the excise tax imposed for failure to meet such standards, to include a person other than the contributing sponsor who agrees to make contributions to a plan which preclude the occurrence of an insurable event.

Subtitle C: Amendments to Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 - Amends ERISA to require the filing of terminal reports by terminated pension plans.

Makes conforming changes in accordance with the amendments in Subtitle B of this title.