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Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan

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Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.




The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA 95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the reporting burden on the public and helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. Currently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration is soliciting comments on the proposed extension of the information collection provisions of Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan. A copy of the information collection request (ICR) may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the Addresses section on or before August 23, 2010.


G. Christopher Cosby, Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 693-4745 (these are not toll-free numbers).

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I. Background

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) contains three separate sets of provisions—in Title I (Labor provisions), Title II (Internal Revenue Code provisions), and Title IV (PBGC provisions)—requiring administrators of employee benefit Start Printed Page 35844pension and welfare plans (collectively referred to as employee benefit plans) to file returns or reports annually with the federal government.

Since enactment of ERISA, PBGC, the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (collectively, the Agencies), have worked collaboratively to produce the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report (Form 5500), through which the regulated public can satisfy the combined reporting/filing requirements applicable to employee benefit plans.

The Form 5500 is the primary source of information concerning the operation, funding, assets and investments of pension and other employee benefit plans. In addition to being an important disclosure document for plan participants and beneficiaries, the Form 5500 is a compliance and research tool for the Agencies, and a source of information for use by other federal agencies, Congress, and the private sector in assessing employee benefit, tax, and economic trends and policies.

On November 16, 2007, the Agencies adopted revisions to the Form 5500 in order to update and streamline the annual reporting process in conjunction with establishing a wholly electronic processing system for the receipt of the Form 5500 Annual Return/Reports and to conform the forms and instructions to the provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA).

The Form 5500 constitutes an information collection within the meaning of the PRA, for which the Department has obtained approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control No. 1210-0110. The OMB approval is currently scheduled to expire on September 30, 2010. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

II. Current Actions

This notice requests public comment pertaining to the Department's request for extension of OMB approval of the information collection contained in the Form 5500. After considering comments received in response to this notice, the Department intends to submit an ICR to OMB for continuing approval. No change to the existing ICR is proposed or made at this time. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. A summary of the ICR and the current burden estimates follows:

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

Title: Annual Information Return/Report.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection of information.

OMB Number: 1210-0110.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

Respondents: 780,000.

Responses: 780,000.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 530,000.

Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $178,000,000.

III. Focus of Comments

The Department of Labor (Department) is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., by permitting electronic submissions of responses.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the ICR for OMB approval of the extension of the information collection; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: June 16, 2010.

Joseph S. Piacentini,

Acting Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2010-15092 Filed 6-22-10; 8:45 am]