U.S. Labor Dept Finalizes Pension Asset Protection Rules Wall Street Journal Online (10/19/00) Vol. 104, No. 42 p.1; Martin, Fowler W.
A final draft of fraud-prevention rules, set to offer
protection of billions of dollars in assets held by
small-business pension plans, has been issued by the U.S.
Department of labor. Pension plans are generally required to
have their annual financial statements audited by a CPA, but
because this is a costly endeavor, plans with fewer than 100
participants are excused from the requirement. This exemption
has resulted in many abuses, which has damaged worker confidence
in such plans, according to Labor Department officials. Labor
Secretary Alexis M. Herman said, "We believe the final rule
strikes a reasonable balance between enhanced security and
accountability for small plan assets while minimizing the
administrative burdens and costs to plans and their sponsors."