Publications and Resources

Comment Letters

The Council regularly submits comment letters in response to proposed rules and legislation to ensure that the perspective of employer plan sponsors are comprehensively and effectively represented.

For more information on the Council's comment letter program, contact Jan Jacobson, senior counsel, retirement policy, or Kathryn Wilber, senior counsel, health policy, at (202) 289-6700.

Note: Letters are also available on the applicable issue pages.

 

Monday, October 2, 2017
Council letter to EBSA on Unresponsive and Missing Participant Guidance for Ongoing Retirement Plans
The Council submitted a letter on 10/2/2017 to request that the Department of Labor engage in a rulemaking process to issue comprehensive guidance on plan fiduciary responsibilities with respect to unresponsive and missing participants and cease taking ad hoc enforcement positions until the Department provides actual guidance.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Council Comments to EBSA Regarding Mental Health Parity Act Disclosure Issues
In September 13 written comments to the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), the Council offered recommendations on recently issued frequently asked questions (FAQ) Part 38, which addressed disclosure obligations and solicited comments on a draft model form for requesting disclosure of information as required under MHPAEA.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Joint letter to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on Mortality Tables
Joint letter to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on Mortality Tables
Friday, August 25, 2017
Council Letter to PBGC on its regulatory program (August 25, 2017)
Council Letter to PBGC on its regulatory program (August 25, 2017)
Friday, August 18, 2017
Council-CIEBA Comments to AICPA on the Exposure Draft of the Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards
The Council, along with Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA), offered comments to the theAmerican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) on its Exposure Draft on the Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (the Exposure Draft).
Monday, August 7, 2017
Council Letter to DOL/EBSA Regarding Request for Information on Fiduciary Rule, Prohibited Transaction Exemptions
In an August 7 letter to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the Council continued to push for revisions to the final "fiduciary" rule to provide more certainty and clarity.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Council Letter to Treasury Regarding Review of Burdensome Regulations
Responding to a formal request for information (RFI), on August 1 the Council provided to the U.S. Treasury Department a comprehensive set of recommendations for eliminating, modifying or streamlining regulations to reduce burdens on employee benefit plan sponsors.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Council Statement on Mental Health Parity at HHS Listening Session
Council Statement on Mental Health Parity at HHS Listening Session
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Council Letter to DOL on Unwarranted and Harmful ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Litigation
Council Letter to DOL on Unwarranted and Harmful ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Litigation
Friday, July 21, 2017
Letter to Employee Benefits Security Administration in response to RFI Regarding the Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions
Letter to Employee Benefits Security Administration in response to RFI Regarding the Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Council Comments to HHS Regarding RFI on Reducing Regulatory Burdens Imposed by Affordable Care Act & Improving Healthcare Choices to Empower Patients
The Council appreciates the opportunity to provide comment to HHS with respect to ongoing efforts to reduce regulatory burdens and improve health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act and to provide for a health care system that adheres to the principles of affordability, quality, innovation and empowerment.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
House GOP Letter to DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta on Delaying the Fiduciary Applicability Date
House GOP Letter to DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta on Delaying the Fiduciary Applicability Date
Monday, April 24, 2017
Council Letter to PBGC Urging Review of Early Warning Program
As part of its ongoing defense of the defined benefit pension plan system, the Council sent a letter to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on April 24, urging a thorough review of the agency's Early Warning Program.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Council Letter to DOL/EBSA Regarding Issues Raised in Presidential Memorandum and in Preamble to Proposed Delay of Fiduciary Rule
In written comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) on April 17, the Council outlined a number of unresolved concerns with the agency's final regulations expanding ERISA fiduciary responsibility, highlighting plan sponsor concerns and encouraging the DOL to consider these issues in its review of the rule.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Council Letter of Support for "Frozen" Pension Legislation to Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
Council voices support for legislation to protect participants in, and sponsors of, so-called “frozen” defined benefit pension plans from the inadvertent adverse impact of nondiscrimination rules on those plans’ tax qualified status.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Council Letter of Support for "Frozen" Pension Legislation to Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH)
Council voices support for legislation to protect participants in, and sponsors of, so-called “frozen” defined benefit pension plans from the inadvertent adverse impact of nondiscrimination rules on those plans’ tax qualified status.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Joint letter of support to lawmakers who sponsored "frozen" pension legislation (S. 852 & H.R. 1862) (2017)
Join letter of support for Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Council Letter to IRS Regarding Substance of Proposed Regulations to Update Mortality Tables
In a March 29 letter to the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Council expressed serious concerns about the substance of proposed regulations updating the mortality tables to be used for defined benefit pension plans for 2018.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Council/ERIC Joint Letter to IRS Regarding Process Concerns with Proposed Regulations to Update Mortality Tables
In a March 29 letter to the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Council and the ERISA Industry Committee expressed serious concerns about the process surrounding the proposed regulations updating the mortality tables to be used for defined benefit pension plans for 2018.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Council letter to SEC on Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule
Council letter to SEC on Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule
Monday, March 20, 2017
Group Letter to OMB Regarding EEOC Proposed Revisions to EEO-1
The Council was also one of 27 employer organizations to sign on to a similar group letter to OMB, urging the agency to review and reject the EEOC's revisions to the annual Employer Information Report (EEO–1) disclosure requirement.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Letter to DOL EBSA on Fiduciary Rule Delay
Letter to DOL EBSA on Fiduciary Rule Delay
Friday, March 3, 2017
Joint letter regarding Medicare Advantage to HHS Secretary Price and Members of Congress
Joint letter regarding Medicare Advantage to HHS Secretary Price and Members of Congress
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Council Letter to IRS Regarding Minimum Present Value Requirements for Defined Benefit Plan Distributions under Tax Code Section 417(e)
The Council urged the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reconsider certain aspects of its recent proposed regulations governing distributions from defined benefit pension plans, noting that the updated rules “could inadvertently impose some major and costly new obligations.”
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Letter to Council State Treasury on Revisions to the Proposed Rules for the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan
Letter to Council State Treasury on Revisions to the Proposed Rules for the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Joint letter to the European Supervisory Authorities regarding new variation margin requirements under EMIR
Joint letter to the European Supervisory Authorities regarding new variation margin requirements under EMIR
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Letter to IRS on ongoing rulemaking with respect to hybrid retirement plans
The Council offered constructive recommendations to the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in a February 21 letter (cosigned by the Coalition to Preserve the Defined Benefit System) addressing ongoing rulemaking with respect to hybrid retirement plans.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Council Letter to House of Representatives Regarding State-Run Retirement Programs
Letter raising concerns about state-run retirement programs for private sector employees
Monday, February 13, 2017
Joint Letter on the Tax Treatment of Health Benefits to NEC
Joint Letter on the Tax Treatment of Health Benefits to NEC
Monday, February 13, 2017
Letter to President Trump on tax treatment of health care
Letter to President Trump on tax treatment of health care
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Letter to White House on Employer Reporting under the ACA
Letter to White House on Employer Reporting under the ACA
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Joint Letter to Senator Mike Enzi on Pension and Budget Integrity Act of 2017
Joint Letter to Senator Mike Enzi on PBIA 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Letter of support to Rep. Vern Buchanan for introduction of the Retirement Security for American Workers Act (2017) (H.R. 854)
H.R. 854 would greatly expand opportunities for small employers to band together in a common “multiple employer plan” (MEP) and thereby achieve many of the economies of scale available to large employers.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Letter to Oregon State Treasury on Proposed Rules for the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan
Letter to Oregon State Treasury on Proposed Rules for the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Council Letter to Treasury Regarding the Impact of Pension Limitation of Benefits Treaty Provisions on Cross-Border Pension Funds
In an October 14 letter to the U.S. Treasury Department, the Council suggested an important technical change to a model tax treaty that would facilitate the provision of equal tax treatment under cross-border pensions.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Council Letter to DOL/EBSA Regarding Proposed Regulations on State/Local Retirement Plans
The Council appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule that would extend the new safe harbor for state-run mandatory IRA programs for private-sector employees to similar programs that are established by certain populous cities and counties meeting the proposal’s definition of a “qualified political subdivision”.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Council Letter to IRS Regarding Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on ACA Premium Tax Credit
On September 6, the Council provided written comments on proposed regulations related to premium tax credit and individual shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Group Letter Requesting Extension of Time for Comments on Proposed Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports (Form 5500)
The Investment Company Institute, the American Benefits Council, the SPARK Institute Inc., and the Plan Sponsor Council of America write in response to the revisions to the Form 5500 proposed by the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the Department’s proposed rule on annual reporting and disclosure and request a 90-day extension of the deadline for public comments on the proposed revisions.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Council Letter to Obama Administration Regarding Expatriate Plans, Essential Health Benefits
In written comments to the Obama Administration, submitted on August 9, the Council recommended a number of vital clarifications to the recently proposed regulations implementing changes in the treatment of expatriate health plans.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Council Letter to IRS Regarding Proposed Regulations Rules for Applying Nondiscrimination Rules to Frozen Pension Plans
The Council filed written comments with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on April 28 outlining needed improvements to the agency’s proposed rules governing the application of certain nondiscrimination rules on closed (soft frozen) defined benefit pension plans.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Council Letter to IRS Regarding Notice 2016-16: Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans and Safe Harbor Notices
The American Benefits Council (Council) provided written comments on April 27 to the IRS in connection with Notice 2016-16, which provided guidance on mid-year changes to safe harbor 401(k) plans and how they must be treated under the Internal Revenue Code nondiscrimination rules.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Council Letter to DOL/WHD Regarding Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors
The Council submitted comments in response to the proposed rule issued by the Department of Labor on February 25, 2016, to implement Executive Order 13706, requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to provide their employees with up to seven days of leave annually.
Friday, April 1, 2016
Council Letter to EEOC Regarding Proposed Changes to EEO-1
In April 1 written comments, The Council urged the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to withdraw and reconsider its proposed changes to the Employer Information Report (EEO–1), used to collect demographic information about employees.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Council Letter to DOL Requesting Extension on Paid Leave NPRM
In a March 10 letter to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Council asked the agency to extend the comment period for a proposed rule that will require federal contractors and their subcontractors provide employees with a certain amount of paid leave.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Council Letter to EEOC Regarding Proposed GINA Title II Regulations
In a January 28 letter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding its proposed regulations governing employer wellness programs under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the Council once again emphasized the importance of consistent federal policy that promotes the health of Americans and is aligned across multiple agencies and Congress.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Council Letter to DOL/EBSA Regarding Proposed Regulations on Disability Benefit Plan Claims Procedures
The Council raised concerns about a proposal to apply Affordable Care Act (ACA) claims procedures for group health plans to disability benefit plans in written comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) on January 19.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Council Letter to DOL/EBSA Regarding Proposed Regulations on State-Run Retirement Plans
In written comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) on January 19, the Council expressed serious concerns about a proposed safe harbor to accommodate state-run retirement plans for non-governmental employees without workplace coverage.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Group Letter to CMS Opposing Rate Cuts to Medicare Advantage Plans
In written comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Council and 11 other employer groups expressed concern with further cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Council Letter to IRS Regarding State-Run Retirement Plans and ERISA Prohibited Transactions
On behalf of the American Benefits Council (the “Council”), I am writing to seek clarification on whether the prohibited transaction excise tax regime described in Internal Revenue Code Section 4975 could apply to states that sponsor payroll deduction IRA arrangements for private sector employees, even where such arrangements are exempt from ERISA.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Council Letter to IRS/OMB on Changes to Form 5500 Series
This letter is submitted on behalf of the American Benefits Council (the Council) regarding the proposed changes to the Form 5500 series for the 2015 plan year, including proposed changes to the Form 5500-SUP described in the Notice and Request for Comment published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2014, and the changes reflected in the draft Form 5500-EZ.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Council Letter to IRS Regarding Notice 2015-68 – Section 6055 (Information Reporting on Minimum Essential Coverage)
In November 16 written comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Council offered recommendations for additional guidance to address the numerous unanswered questions associated with employer reporting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Monday, November 9, 2015
Council Letter to HHS/OCR Regarding ACA Section 1557, Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities
The Council filed written comments with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on November 9, 2015, expressing concerns with recently proposed rules implementing the nondiscrimination provisions under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Monday, November 2, 2015
Council Letter to IRS Regarding Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Minimum Value of Eligible Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
In a comment letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on November 2, the Council warned that recently proposed regulations go “well beyond the bounds” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and do not accord with congressional intent by mandating a specific benefit be covered under employer-sponsored group health plans.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Council Letter to DOL/EBSA Regarding Proposed Regulations Defining the Term "Fiduciary" - Supplemental Comments
The Council provided supplemental comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) on September 23, describing how the agency’s proposed regulations amending the definition of a “fiduciary” would negatively affect casual conversations among employees, the deployment of call centers and investment education.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Council Letter to CMS on Request for Information Regarding HPID Requirements
In July 28 written comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Council urged the agency to eliminate the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) requirement in HIPAA administrative transactions. CMS requested input on the HPID rule, after having delayed enforcement of the requirement in October 2014.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Council Letter to DOL/EBSA Proposed Regulations on Definition of the Term 'Fiduciary'
The Council submitted comments on July 21 to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on the proposed regulations redefining the term “fiduciary.” In the comments, the Council identified a number of issues of concern to plan sponsors and participants that are raised by the proposal, as well as potential issues that could arise. Our comment letter also provided several recommendations to ensure certainty and reduce liability for employers.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Appendix to Council Letter to EBSA Requesting Clarification of Fiduciary Definition As it Applies to Health and Welfare Plans
Appendix to Council Letter to EBSA Requesting Clarification of Fiduciary Definition As it Applies to Health and Welfare Plans
Friday, June 19, 2015
Council Letter to EEOC on Proposed Regulations Regarding Wellness Programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act
In June 19 written comments, the Council urged the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to ensure that the regulations regarding employer wellness programs are consistent with HIPAA, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and congressional intent, to provide for consistent federal policy with respect to wellness programs.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Council Letter to Treasury, DOL and HHS Regarding Guidance on Maximum Out-of-Pocket Rules under PPACA
The Council expressed serious concerns about recent guidance requiring “embedded” individual out-of-pocket maximums for insured large group and self-funded group health plans for 2016 policy and plan years in June 17 written comments to the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Council Letter to EBSA Requesting Comment Period Extension for Fiduciary Definition Regulations
In a May 5 letter, the Council urged the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) to extend the comment deadline for its proposed regulations defining the term “fiduciary” with respect to employee benefit plan investment advice.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Council/SPARK Institute Letter to NTIS Regarding Proposed Regulations on Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File
In March 30 written comments to the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Council, along with the SPARK Institute, expressed concerns with the proposed regulations on a proposed certification program to provide access to the Death Master File (DMF). The letter suggested clarifications and changes that would continue to protect confidential DMF information from abuse while ensuring that retirement plan administrators are able to access DMF information for legitimate fraud prevention and business purposes.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Council Letter to EBSA Regarding Proposed Regulations on Amendments to Excepted Benefits
In January 22 comments to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Council commended the recent proposed rule allowing employers to supplement individual market coverage with limited “wraparound” coverage.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
 Council Comments to NTIS Regarding Interim Final Rule on Temporary Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File
 Council Comments to NTIS Regarding Interim Final Rule on Temporary Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Council Comments to CMS on Proposed Regulations Regarding Certification of Compliance for Health Plans
Council Comments to CMS on Proposed Regulations Regarding Certification of Compliance for Health Plans