New OSHA and EBSA Compliance Assistance Products

In an email today from the U.S. Department of Labor:

We encourage employers and workers to check out the new compliance assistance resources from the Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Employee Benefits Security Administration. These resources will help secure safe and healthy workplaces and improve heath benefit and retirement security – both important goals of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

More after the break.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued the following new or updated compliance assistance products. (For a list of products published earlier this year, see our August email alert.) For more information on these OSHA products, see the New Compliance Assistance Products page. To order print copies of the publications, please visit OSHA’s Publications Web page.


Safety and Health Topics Pages

Other Web Pages


Fact Sheets


Publications and Guidance Documents

Safety and Health Information Bulletins


The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced new guidance as featured below. You can subscribe to EBSA’s web site homepage for updates.

Use of Summary Prospectus Requirements

On September 8, 2009 EBSA issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2009-03 describing the circumstances under which a participant-directed individual account plan may satisfy the prospectus delivery requirements of section 404(c) of ERISA by furnishing a “Summary Prospectus” pursuant to requirements established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Under new SEC rules, the Summary Prospectus is a short-form document, written in plain English and user-friendly format. The document’s contents provide a summary of key information about a mutual fund that is useful to participants and beneficiaries in evaluating and comparing their plan investment options. In addition, if a participant or beneficiary wishes additional information, the Summary Prospectus provides an Internet address that leads directly to the broader statutory prospectus as well as a telephone number and email address for obtaining the statutory prospectus and other information free of charge in paper or by email.

The guidance provided by the FAB enables plans to take advantage of updated prospectus disclosure changes adopted by the SEC to improve investor disclosure materials.

403(b) Plans

On July 20, 2009 EBSA issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2009-02 providing guidance on certain Form 5500 requirements dealing with tax-sheltered annuity programs.

In 2007, EBSA made changes to annual reporting rules to, among other things, require that not-for-profit employers with Internal Revenue Code 403(b) retirement plans covered by ERISA comply, starting this year, with the same financial reporting rules that apply to 401(k) plans.

The FAB provides transition relief for plan administrators of 403(b) plans who make a good faith effort to comply with applicable annual reporting requirements for the 2009 plan year. The FAB allows 403(b) plans to avoid the administrative burden and expense of having to collect and include in their 2009 Form 5500 financial report information on certain individual annuity contracts and mutual fund custodial accounts of current and former employees which were entered into before 2009 and for which the employer has no ongoing contribution obligation.

The FAB complements the transition relief issued by the IRS under new final regulations.

Getting Ready for the 2009 Form 5500 and Electronic Filing

EBSA is continuing to make filers and other plan officials aware of the upcoming changes to the Form 5500 and the filing process beginning with the 2009 plan year filings. Information on the new EFAST2 system has been posted on the EFAST website. The EFAST2 system will be will be available on January 1, 2010. Also available are archives of the two webcasts EBSA has held. Subscribe to EBSA’s homepage for notification of upcoming webcasts on the changes to filing the Form 5500.

Free Compliance Assistance Events

For dates and locations of free compliance assistance events sponsored by EBSA for both retirement and health benefit plans, visit EBSA’s homepage.

If you have questions about the U.S. Department of Labor’s programs or services, please e-mail for assistance.

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