Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
17.150 Employee Benefits Security Administration
PENSION AND WELFARE BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, Public Law 93-406, 29 U.S.C. 1001 note.
The primary mission of PWBA is to protect the pension health care and other welfare benefits of American workers and their families. There are approximately 6.7 million employee benefit plans, which cover approximately 150 million people, including workers and retirees and their families. These plans control more than $3.5 trillion in assets. In administering its responsibilities under ERISA, PWBA: (1) Ensures that workers get the information they need to protect their benefit rights; (2) assists plan officials in understanding the requirements of the relevant laws in order for them to meet their legal responsibilities; (3) develops policies and regulations that encourage the growth of employment-based benefits; and (4) deters and seeks to correct violations of the relevant statutes through education, voluntary compliance, and civil and criminal enforcement actions.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Plan professionals, participants and beneficiaries of employee pension, health care and welfare benefit plans obtain information about the legal requirements for plan administration, plan provisions, financial operations or how to obtain a benefit.
Applicant Eligibility: Plan administrators, trustees, participants, beneficiaries of employee benefit plans, or others involved in plan administration may obtain assistance in complying with the Act. Interested persons may obtain certain plan documents which are required to be filed by plan administrators.
Pre-application Coordination: None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Formula and Matching Requirements: Not applicable.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: Not applicable.
Account Identification: 16-1700-0-1-601.
PWBA's customer service staff provides assistance to approximately 150,000 participants, employers and plan administrators each year. The nature of assistance ranges from receiving information brochures, booklets and/or regulations to individualized assistance relative to a specific problem along with information on how the law applies, sometimes resulting in a direct or indirect recovery of an appropriate benefit. As part of its technical assistance program, PWBA conducts educational outreach workshops and participates in additional outreach conferences sponsored by professional organizations. Through its enforcement program, PWBA actions resulted in monetary recoveries to employee benefit plans of nearly $426 million in fiscal year 2001.
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
Copies of the final regulations, proposed regulations, and other directives are available from the national office or on PWBA's website at www.dol.gov/dol/pwba. Certain audio-visual material also are available for hearing-impaired audiences. PWBA publishes a variety of free publications directed to employers and participants which can be obtained from its website and its publication hotline at 1-800-998-7542.
Regional or Local Office: Persons desiring assistance should contact the nearest Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration field office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS: