United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 23, 2020

§ 1024.
Filing with Secretary and furnishing information to participants and certain employers
(a)
Filing of annual report with Secretary
(1)
The administrator of any employee benefit plan subject to this part shall file with the Secretary the annual report for a plan year within 210 days after the close of such year (or within such time as may be required by regulations promulgated by the Secretary in order to reduce duplicative filing). The Secretary shall make copies of such annual reports available for inspection in the public document room of the Department of Labor.
(2)
(A)
With respect to annual reports required to be filed with the Secretary under this part, he may by regulation prescribe simplified annual reports for any pension plan which covers less than 100 participants.
(B)
Nothing contained in this paragraph shall preclude the Secretary from requiring any information or data from any such plan to which this part applies where he finds such data or information is necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter nor shall the Secretary be precluded from revoking provisions for simplified reports for any such plan if he finds it necessary to do so in order to carry out the objectives of this subchapter.
(3)
The Secretary may by regulation exempt any welfare benefit plan from all or part of the reporting and disclosure requirements of this subchapter, or may provide for simplified reporting and disclosure if he finds that such requirements are inappropriate as applied to welfare benefit plans.
(4)
The Secretary may reject any filing under this section—
(A)
if he determines that such filing is incomplete for purposes of this part; or
(B)
if he determines that there is any material qualification by an accountant or actuary contained in an opinion submitted pursuant to section 1023(a)(3)(A) or section 1023(a)(4)(B) of this title.
(5)
If the Secretary rejects a filing of a report under paragraph (4) and if a revised filing satisfactory to the Secretary is not submitted within 45 days after the Secretary makes his determination under paragraph (4) to reject the filing, and if the Secretary deems it in the best interest of the participants, he may take any one or more of the following actions—
(A)
retain an independent qualified public accountant (as defined in section 1023(a)(3)(D) of this title) on behalf of the participants to perform an audit,
(B)
retain an enrolled actuary (as defined in section 1023(a)(4)(C) of this title) on behalf of the plan participants, to prepare an actuarial statement,
(C)
bring a civil action for such legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate to enforce the provisions of this part, or
(D)
take any other action authorized by this subchapter.
The administrator shall permit such accountant or actuary to inspect whatever books and records of the plan are necessary for such audit. The plan shall be liable to the Secretary for the expenses for such audit or report, and the Secretary may bring an action against the plan in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover such expenses.
(6)
The administrator of any employee benefit plan subject to this part shall furnish to the Secretary, upon request, any documents relating to the employee benefit plan, including but not limited to, the latest summary plan description (including any summaries of plan changes not contained in the summary plan description), and the bargaining agreement, trust agreement, contract, or other instrument under which the plan is established or operated.
(b)
Publication of summary plan description and annual report to participants and beneficiaries of plan
Publication of the summary plan descriptions and annual reports shall be made to participants and beneficiaries of the particular plan as follows:
(1)
The administrator shall furnish to each participant, and each beneficiary receiving benefits under the plan, a copy of the summary plan description, and all modifications and changes referred to in section 1022(a) of this title
(A)
within 90 days after he becomes a participant, or (in the case of a beneficiary) within 90 days after he first receives benefits, or
(B)
if later, within 120 days after the plan becomes subject to this part.
The administrator shall furnish to each participant, and each beneficiary receiving benefits under the plan, every fifth year after the plan becomes subject to this part an updated summary plan description described in section 1022 of this title which integrates all plan amendments made within such five-year period, except that in a case where no amendments have been made to a plan during such five-year period this sentence shall not apply. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the administrator shall furnish to each participant, and to each beneficiary receiving benefits under the plan, the summary plan description described in section 1022 of this title every tenth year after the plan becomes subject to this part. If there is a modification or change described in section 1022(a) of this title (other than a material reduction in covered services or benefits provided in the case of a group health plan (as defined in section 1191b(a)(1) of this title)), a summary description of such modification or change shall be furnished not later than 210 days after the end of the plan year in which the change is adopted to each participant, and to each beneficiary who is receiving benefits under the plan. If there is a modification or change described in section 1022(a) of this title that is a material reduction in covered services or benefits provided under a group health plan (as defined in section 1191b(a)(1) of this title), a summary description of such modification or change shall be furnished to participants and beneficiaries not later than 60 days after the date of the adoption of the modification or change. In the alternative, the plan sponsors may provide such description at regular intervals of not more than 90 days. The Secretary shall issue regulations within 180 days after August 21, 1996, providing alternative mechanisms to delivery by mail through which group health plans (as so defined) may notify participants and beneficiaries of material reductions in covered services or benefits.
(2)
The administrator shall make copies of the latest updated summary plan description and the latest annual report and the bargaining agreement, trust agreement, contract, or other instruments under which the plan was established or is operated available for examination by any plan participant or beneficiary in the principal office of the administrator and in such other places as may be necessary to make available all pertinent information to all participants (including such places as the Secretary may prescribe by regulations).
(3)
Within 210 days after the close of the fiscal year of the plan, the administrator (other than an administrator of a defined benefit plan to which the requirements of section 1021(f) of this title applies) 1
1
 So in original. Probably should be “apply)”.
shall furnish to each participant, and to each beneficiary receiving benefits under the plan, a copy of the statements and schedules, for such fiscal year, described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 1023(b)(3) of this title and such other material (including the percentage determined under section 1023(d)(11) of this title) as is necessary to fairly summarize the latest annual report.
(4)
The administrator shall, upon written request of any participant or beneficiary, furnish a copy of the latest updated summary,2
2
 So in original. Comma probably should not appear.
plan description, and the latest annual report, any terminal report, the bargaining agreement, trust agreement, contract, or other instruments under which the plan is established or operated. The administrator may make a reasonable charge to cover the cost of furnishing such complete copies. The Secretary may by regulation prescribe the maximum amount which will constitute a reasonable charge under the preceding sentence.
(5)
Identification and basic plan information and actuarial information included in the annual report for any plan year shall be filed with the Secretary in an electronic format which accommodates display on the Internet, in accordance with regulations which shall be prescribed by the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide for display of such information included in the annual report, within 90 days after the date of the filing of the annual report, on an Internet website maintained by the Secretary and other appropriate media. Such information shall also be displayed on any Intranet website maintained by the plan sponsor (or by the plan administrator on behalf of the plan sponsor) for the purpose of communicating with employees and not the public, in accordance with regulations which shall be prescribed by the Secretary.
(c)
Statement of rights

The Secretary may by regulation require that the administrator of any employee benefit plan furnish to each participant and to each beneficiary receiving benefits under the plan a statement of the rights of participants and beneficiaries under this subchapter.

(d)
Furnishing summary plan information to employers and employee representatives of multiemployer plans
(1)
In general
With respect to a multiemployer plan subject to this section, within 30 days after the due date under subsection (a)(1) for the filing of the annual report for the fiscal year of the plan, the administrators shall furnish to each employee organization and to each employer with an obligation to contribute to the plan a report that contains—
(A)
a description of the contribution schedules and benefit formulas under the plan, and any modification to such schedules and formulas, during such plan year;
(B)
the number of employers obligated to contribute to the plan;
(C)
a list of the employers that contributed more than 5 percent of the total contributions to the plan during such plan year;
(D)
the number of participants under the plan on whose behalf no contributions were made by an employer as an employer of the participant for such plan year and for each of the 2 preceding plan years;
(E)
whether the plan was in critical or endangered status under section 1085 of this title for such plan year and, if so, include—
(i)
a list of the actions taken by the plan to improve its funding status; and
(ii)
a statement describing how a person may obtain a copy of the plan’s funding improvement or rehabilitation plan, as applicable, adopted under section 1085 of this title and the actuarial and financial data that demonstrate any action taken by the plan toward fiscal improvement;
(F)
the number of employers that withdrew from the plan during the preceding plan year and the aggregate amount of withdrawal liability assessed, or estimated to be assessed, against such withdrawn employers, as reported on the annual report for the plan year to which the report under this subsection relates;
(G)
in the case of a multiemployer plan that has merged with another plan or to which assets and liabilities have been transferred, the actuarial valuation of the assets and liabilities of each affected plan during the year preceding the effective date of the merger or transfer, based upon the most recent data available as of the day before the first day of the plan year, or other valuation method performed under standards and procedures as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation;
(H)
a description as to whether the plan—
(i)
sought or received an amortization extension under section 1084(d) of this title or section 431(d) of title 26 for such plan year; or
(ii)
used the shortfall funding method (as such term is used in section 1085 of this title) for such plan year; and
(I)
notification of the right under this section of the recipient to a copy of the annual report filed with the Secretary under subsection (a), summary plan description, summary of any material modification of the plan, upon written request, but that—
(i)
in no case shall a recipient be entitled to receive more than one copy of any such document described during any one 12-month period; and
(ii)
the administrator may make a reasonable charge to cover copying, mailing, and other costs of furnishing copies of information pursuant to this subparagraph.
(2)
Effect of subsection

Nothing in this subsection waives any other provision under this subchapter requiring plan administrators to provide, upon request, information to employers that have an obligation to contribute under the plan.

(e)
Cross references

For regulations respecting coordination of reports to the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury, see section 1204 of this title.

(Pub. L. 93–406, title I, § 104, Sept. 2, 1974, 88 Stat. 847; Pub. L. 99–272, title XI, § 11016(b)(2), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 273; Pub. L. 100–203, title IX, § 9342(a)(2), Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1330–371; Pub. L. 101–239, title VII, § 7894(b)(3), (4), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2448; Pub. L. 104–191, title I, § 101(c)(1), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 1951; Pub. L. 104–204, title VI, § 603(b)(3)(D), Sept. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 2938; Pub. L. 105–34, title XV, § 1503(c)(1), (2)(A), (d)(1)–(3), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 1062; Pub. L. 109–280, title V, §§ 503(c)(1), (d), 504(a), Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 943–945; Pub. L. 110–458, title I, § 105(c)(1), Dec. 23, 2008, 122 Stat. 5105; Pub. L. 116–94, div. O, title I, § 101(d)(2), Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3145.)
cite as: 29 USC 1024