EBSA seeks comments on survey regarding pension benefit statements

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on a proposed information collection regarding a survey and focus groups that will ask respondents to answer questions related to information presented in benefit statements received from their retirement plans.

The Labor Department is planning to survey participants in an existing household internet panel called the American Life Panel (ALP) and conduct four focus groups consisting of non-panel members to explore whether information presented in retirement plan benefit statements can be presented in a manner that is understandable for participants and beneficiaries and makes them better prepared for retirement. Topics probed in the survey include participants’ current allocations to their retirement accounts, their expectations for how long they will need to keep working, their financial goals for retirement, the basis for calculating those goals, how frequently they view their current benefits statement, whether they receive benefit statements in paper or electronic format, and what information from the statements do they primarily focus on. Survey participants will then be provided with two different benefits statements that provide slightly different information and will be asked to answer several questions based on those statements to better assess what they understand about the statements.

Written comments on the proposed information collection must be submitted on or before March 25, 2013. The comments should be directed to G. Christopher Cosby, Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, N-5718, Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 693-4745 (these are not toll-free numbers).

Source: 78 FR 4458, January 22, 2013.

For more information, visit http://www.wolterskluwerlb.com/rbcs.

For more information on this and related topics, consult the CCH Pension Plan Guide, CCH Employee Benefits Management, and Spencer’s Benefits Reports.

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