WASHINGTON - The Labor Department is advising corporate and union pension plans that a provision in the new tax law letting them off the hook for filing certain paperwork periodically will be retroactive.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 exempts pension plans regulated by federal law from periodically filing documents with the department describing the plans and how they work, as well as any recent changes in the plans.
But the Labor Department is making it clear that pension plan administrators can stop filing those documents even if the changes to the plans occurred before Aug. 5, when President Clinton signed the taxpayer relief bill into law.
Previously, pension plan administrators were required to file "summary material modifications" detailing the changes within 210 days after the changes became effective.
Corporate and union pension plans will save an estimated $2.5 million through the elimination of this paperwork requirement, the department estimates.
Plan administrators still must provide summary plan documents and details of any plan changes to workers and beneficiaries covered by the plans.