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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Amendment


29 CFR--PART 2520

View Printed Federal Register page 85 FR 59154 in PDF format.

Amendment(s) published September 18, 2020, in 85 FR 59154

Effective Dates: Sept. 18, 2021

3. Add §2520.105-3 to subpart F to read as follows:

§2520.105-3   Lifetime Income Disclosure for Individual Account Plans.

(a) Content requirements. At least annually, the administrator of an individual account plan must furnish a benefit statement pursuant to section 105(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (Act) that is written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant and that contains the information required by this section, based on the latest information available to the plan.

(b) Total benefits accrued; lifetime income disclosure. A benefit statement described in paragraph (a) of this section must include:

(1) The beginning and ending dates of the statement period;

(2) The value of the account balance as of the last day of the statement period, excluding the value of any deferred income annuity described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section;

(3) The amount specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section expressed as an equivalent lifetime income stream payable in equal monthly payments for the life of the participant (single life annuity), determined in accordance with paragraph (c) or (e)(1) of this section; and

(4) The amount specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section expressed as an equivalent lifetime income stream payable in equal monthly payments for the joint lives of the participant and spouse (qualified joint and survivor annuity), determined in accordance with paragraph (c) or (e)(1) of this section.

(c) Assumptions for converting an account balance into lifetime income streams. The account balance specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall be converted to the lifetime income streams described in paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section using the following assumptions:

(1) Commencement date and age. (i) The first payment is made on the last day of the statement period (the commencement date); and

(ii) The participant is age 67 on the commencement date, unless the participant is older than age 67, in which case the participant's actual age must be used for the conversions under this section.

(2) Marital status. For purposes of paragraph (b)(4) of this section (relating to qualified joint and survivor annuity illustrations):

(i) The participant has a spouse that is the same age as the participant; and

(ii) The survivor annuity percentage is equal to 100% of the monthly payment that is payable during the joint lives of the participant and spouse.

(3) Interest rate and mortality. (i) A rate of interest equal to the 10-year constant maturity Treasury securities yield rate for the first business day of the last month of the period to which the benefit statement relates; and

(ii) Mortality as reflected in the applicable mortality table under section 417(e)(3)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code in effect for the calendar year which contains the last day of the statement period.

(4) Plan loans. The account balance includes the outstanding balance of any participant loan, unless the participant is in default of repayment on such loan.

(d) Explanation of lifetime income streams. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a benefit statement described in paragraph (a) of this section must include:

(1)(i) An explanation of the commencement date and age assumptions in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement assume that payments begin [insert the last day of the statement period] and that you are [insert 67 or current age if older] on this date. Monthly payments beginning at a younger age would be lower than shown since payments would be made over more years. Monthly payments beginning at an older age would be higher than shown since they would be made over fewer years.”

(2)(i) An explanation of a single life annuity.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “A single life annuity is an arrangement that pays you a fixed amount of money each month for the rest of your life. Following your death, no further payments would be made to your spouse or heirs.”

(3)(i) An explanation of a qualified joint and 100% survivor annuity, the availability of other survivor percentage annuities, and the impact of choosing a lower survivor percentage.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “A qualified joint and 100% survivor annuity is an arrangement that pays you and your spouse a fixed monthly payment for the rest of your joint lives. In addition, after your death, this type of annuity would continue to provide the same fixed monthly payment to your surviving spouse for their life. An annuity with a lower survivor percentage may be available, and reducing the survivor percentage (below 100%) would increase monthly payments during your lifetime, but would decrease what your surviving spouse would receive after your death.”

(4)(i) An explanation of the marital status assumptions in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments for a qualified joint and 100% survivor annuity in this statement assume that you are married with a spouse who is the same age as you (even if you do not currently have a spouse, or if you have a spouse who is a different age). If your spouse is younger, monthly payments would be lower than shown since they would be expected to be paid over more years. If your spouse is older, monthly payments would be higher than shown since they would be expected to be paid over fewer years.”

(5)(i) An explanation of the interest rate assumptions in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are based on an interest rate of [insert rate], which is the 10-year constant maturity U.S. Treasury securities yield rate as of [insert date], as required by federal regulations. This rate fluctuates based on market conditions. The lower the interest rate, the smaller your monthly payment will be, and the higher the interest rate, the larger your monthly payment will be.”

(6)(i) An explanation of the mortality assumptions in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are based on how long you and a spouse who is assumed to be your age are expected to live. For this purpose, federal regulations require that your life expectancy be estimated using gender neutral mortality assumptions established by the Internal Revenue Service.”

(7)(i) An explanation that the monthly payment amounts required under paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section are illustrations only.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(7)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are for illustrative purposes only; they are not a guarantee.”

(8)(i) An explanation that the actual monthly payments that may be purchased with the amount specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section will depend on numerous factors and may vary substantially from the illustrations under this section.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(8)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are based on prevailing market conditions and other assumptions required under federal regulations. If you decide to purchase an annuity, the actual payments you receive will depend on a number of factors and may vary substantially from the estimated monthly payments in this statement. For example, your actual age at retirement, your actual account balance (reflecting future investment gains and losses, contributions, distributions, and fees), and the market conditions at the time of purchase will affect your actual payment amounts. The estimated monthly payments in this statement are the same whether you are male or female. This is required for annuities payable from an employer's plan. However, the same amount paid for an annuity available outside of an employer's plan may provide a larger monthly payment for males than for females since females are expected to live longer.”

(9)(i) An explanation that the monthly payment amounts required under paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section are fixed amounts that would not increase for inflation.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(9)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “Unlike Social Security payments, the estimated monthly payments in this statement do not increase each year with a cost-of-living adjustment. Therefore, as prices increase over time, the fixed monthly payments will buy fewer goods and services.”

(10)(i) An explanation that the monthly payment amounts required under paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section are based on total benefits accrued, regardless of whether such benefits are nonforfeitable.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(10)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payment amounts in this statement assume that your account balance is 100% vested.”

(11)(i) An explanation that the account balance includes the outstanding balance of any participant loan, unless the participant is in default of repayment on such loan.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (d)(11)(i) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “If you have taken a loan from the plan and are not in default on the loan, the estimated monthly payments in this statement assume that the loan has been fully repaid.”

(e) Special rules for in-plan annuities—(1) Plans that offer distribution annuities. (i) If the plan offers single life and qualified joint and survivor annuities as distribution options pursuant to a contract with an issuer licensed under applicable state insurance law, the plan administrator may, but is not required to, use the contract terms to calculate the monthly payment amounts in paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section instead of the assumptions in paragraph (c) of this section, except for the assumptions in paragraphs (c)(1) (relating to assumed commencement date and age) and (c)(2)(i) (relating to assumed marital status and age of spouse) of this section.

(ii) Plan administrators that elect to use the contract terms, as permitted in paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section, must, in lieu of the explanations required in paragraph (d) of this section, provide the explanations set forth in paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section. To obtain the limitation on liability provided in paragraph (f) of this section, such plan administrators also must use either the model language for each such explanation in paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section or the Model Benefit Statement Supplement set forth in Appendix B to this subpart.

(iii) The benefit statement must include the following:

(A)(1) An explanation of the commencement date and age assumptions in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(A)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement assume that payments begin [insert the last day of statement period] and that you are [insert 67 or current age if older] on this date. Monthly payments beginning at a younger age would be lower than shown since payments would be made over more years. Monthly payments beginning at an older age would be higher than shown since they would be made over fewer years.”

(B)(1) An explanation of a single life annuity.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(B)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “A single life annuity is an arrangement that pays you a specified amount of money each month for the rest of your life. Following your death, no further payments would be made to your spouse or heirs.”

(C)(1) An explanation of a qualified joint and survivor annuity and the survivor annuity percentage.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(C)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “A qualified joint and survivor annuity is an arrangement that pays you and your spouse a specified monthly payment for the rest of your joint lives. When one spouse dies, the monthly payments continue to the surviving spouse for their life. If you die first, your spouse will receive [insert X %] of the monthly payment payable during your life. If your spouse dies first, you will receive [insert Y %] of the monthly payment.”

(D)(1) An explanation of the marital status assumptions in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(D)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments for a qualified joint and survivor annuity in this statement assume that you are married with a spouse who is the same age as you (even if you do not currently have a spouse, or if you have a spouse who is a different age). If your spouse is younger, monthly payments would be lower than shown since they would be expected to be paid over more years. If your spouse is older, monthly payments would be higher than shown since they would be expected to be paid over fewer years.”

(E)(1) An explanation of the contract's interest rate assumptions.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(E)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are based on an interest rate offered by [insert name of insurer] under a contract with the plan. This rate may fluctuate. The lower the interest rate, the smaller your monthly payments will be, and the higher the interest rate, the larger your monthly payments will be.”

(F)(1) An explanation of the contract's mortality assumptions.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(F)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are based on how long you and a spouse who is assumed to be your age are expected to live. Life expectancy is estimated by using mortality assumptions adopted by [enter name of insurance company].”

(G)(1) An explanation that the monthly payment amounts required under paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section are illustrations only.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(G)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are for illustrative purposes only; they are not a guarantee.”

(H)(1) An explanation that the actual monthly payments that may be purchased with the amount specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section will depend on numerous factors and may vary substantially from the illustrations under this section.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(H)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payments in this statement are based on prevailing market conditions and other assumptions. If you decide to purchase an annuity, the actual payments you receive will depend on a number of factors and may vary substantially from the estimated monthly payments in this statement. For example, your actual age at retirement, your actual account balance (reflecting future investment gains and losses, contributions, distributions, and fees), and the market conditions at the time of purchase will affect your actual payment amounts. The estimated monthly payments in this statement are the same whether you are male or female. This is required for annuities payable from an employer's plan. However, the same amount paid for an annuity available outside of an employer's plan may provide a larger monthly payment for males than for females since females are expected to live longer.”

(I)(1) An explanation as to whether the monthly payment amounts required under paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section are fixed or may change over time, and how adjustments, if any, are determined.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(H)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language, as applicable: “Unlike Social Security payments, the estimated monthly payment amounts in this statement do not increase each year with a cost-of-living adjustment. Therefore, as prices increase over time, the fixed monthly payments will buy fewer goods and services.”; OR “The amounts shown in this statement will increase over time based on [insert general explanation of how any adjustment is determined, e.g., to reflect inflation, a cost-of-living adjustment, etc.]”

(J)(1) An explanation that the monthly payment amounts required under paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section are based on total benefits accrued, regardless of whether such benefits are nonforfeitable.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(J)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “The estimated monthly payment amounts in this statement assume that your account balance is 100% vested.”

(K)(1) An explanation that the account balance includes the outstanding balance of any participant loan, unless the participant is in default of repayment on such loan.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(K)(1) of this section, the plan administrator may use the following model language: “If you have taken a loan from the plan and are not in default on the loan, the estimated monthly payments in this statement assume that the loan is fully repaid.”

(2) Participants that purchased deferred annuities. (i) If any portion of a participant's accrued benefit currently includes a deferred lifetime income stream purchased by the participant in the form of a single life annuity or a qualified joint and survivor annuity pursuant to a contract with an issuer licensed under applicable state insurance law, such as a deferred income annuity contract or a qualifying longevity annuity contract, the amounts payable under this contract with respect to this portion shall be disclosed on the participant's benefit statement in accordance with paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, instead of in accordance with paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

(ii) With respect to the portion of a participant's accrued benefit described in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, the following information must be disclosed about such lifetime income payments:

(A) The date payments are scheduled to commence and the age of the participant on such date;

(B) The frequency and the amount of such payments payable as of the commencement date in paragraph (e)(2)(ii)(A) of this section, as determined under the terms of the contract, expressed in current dollars;

(C) A description of any survivor benefit, period certain commitment, or similar feature; and

(D) A statement whether such payments are fixed, adjust with inflation during retirement, or adjust in some other way, and a general explanation of how any such adjustment is determined.

(iii) The portion of the participant's accrued benefit that was not used to purchase a deferred lifetime income stream described in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, however, must be converted to the lifetime income stream equivalents in accordance with paragraphs (c) and (d), or paragraph (e)(1), of this section.

(f) Limitation on liability. No plan fiduciary, plan sponsor, or other person shall have any liability under Title I of the Act solely by reason of providing the lifetime income stream equivalents described in paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section, provided that:

(1) Such equivalents are derived in accordance with the assumptions in paragraph (c) or (e)(1)(i) of this section; and

(2) The benefit statement includes language substantially similar in all material respects to:

(i) Either the model language in paragraphs (d)(1)(ii) through (d)(11)(ii) of this section or the Model Benefit Statement Supplement set forth in Appendix A to this subpart; or,

(ii) If applicable, either the model language in paragraphs (e)(1)(iii)(A)(2) through (e)(1)(iii)(K)(2) of this section or the Model Benefit Statement Supplement set forth in Appendix B to this subpart.

(g) Additional lifetime income illustrations. Nothing in this section precludes a plan administrator from including lifetime income stream illustrations on the benefit statement in addition to the illustrations described in paragraphs (b)(3) and (4) of this section, as long as such additional illustrations are clearly explained, presented in a manner that is designed to avoid confusing or misleading participants, and based on reasonable assumptions.

(h) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

Participant. The term participant includes an individual beneficiary who has his or her own individual account under the plan, such as an alternate payee for example.

(i) Dates. This section shall be effective on the date that is one year after the date of publication of the interim final rule, and shall be applicable to pension benefit statements furnished after such date.

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