RSS icon

Top Stories

Y2K Responsibility What's the DOL Looking For

September 1, 1999
Related Topics: Technology and the Law, Featured Article, Technology
Below is a list of questions the DOL says it uses to review companies' computer operations, as well as service providers.

Plan's Internal Computer Operations

  1. Provide the name, position, title and telephone number of the person in your organization responsible for addressing the year 2000 compliance of the plan's computer system.
  2. If applicable, provide the name and telephone number of the person or entity hired to address the year 2000 compliance of the plan's computer system. Provide a copy of the service contract.
  3. If applicable, describe how the plan's year 2000 service provider was selected and what information was reviewed in the course of the selection process.
  4. What stages have been completed in addressing the year 2000 problem (e.g., inventory development, assessment, remedial action, testing, contingency planning)?
  5. If applicable, provide a copy of the strategy or planning document addressing how year 2000 compliance will be ensured with respect to plan operations.
  6. Has an inventory of plan-related computer information systems been developed for purposes of assessing year 2000 compliance? Please provide a copy.
  7. Has a year 2000-compliance assessment been conducted? Please provide a copy.
  8. What information has been reviewed by the plan fiduciaries regarding the plan's year 2000 compliance?
  9. What corrective measures have been identified to date? What remedial action, if any, has been taken? By whom? How much did it cost?
  10. Who determined the remedial actions to be taken by the plan? What information provided the basis for the decision?
  11. Has the plan been "certified" as year 2000 compliant? If so, please explain and provide a copy of the certification.
  12. Has a testing schedule been devised for the plan's computer systems? Who will perform the test?
  13. Has a contingency plan been devised in the event critical computer operations are disrupted? If so, provide a copy.
  14. What information has been provided, or will be provided, to plan participants regarding the year 2000 problem?
  15. Who is responsible for paying the costs of addressing the year 2000 problem?

External Computer Operations of Plan Service Providers

  1. Has the plan compiled a list of service providers for purposes of determining Year 2000 compliance? Has the plan determined which of these providers renders essential or critical services? Provide a copy of the list.
  2. Provide the name and telephone number of the plan fiduciary responsible for hiring the plan service providers.
  3. Has the plan notified service providers of its expectations regarding Year 2000 compliance? If so, provide a copy of the notification.
  4. Have contracts between the plan and its service providers been amended to address the plan's expectations regarding Year 2000 compliance? If so, provide copies of the contract amendments.
  5. Has each plan service provider been contacted to determine their Year 2000 compliance? If so, please provide copies of the information requested and obtained from the service providers.
  6. Has the plan fiduciary reviewed documentation from plan service providers regarding their Year 2000 compliance? If so, what information was reviewed and what action was taken by the plan fiduciary to ensure the plan's interests, and those of participants and beneficiaries, were protected?
  7. Were any concerns expressed by the plan regarding the service provider's Year 2000 compliance? If so, what were those concerns and what actions were taken to address them?
  8. What action has the plan taken to ensure that the remedial measures required to bring the service provider's computer system into Year 2000 compliance have been or will be implemented?
  9. Has the plan determined that the service provider has scheduled or conducted testing of its computer systems for purposes of determining Year 2000 compliance?
  10. Has the plan obtained documentation describing the service provider's contingency plan or the measures the service provider intends to implement in the event essential plan operations are disrupted due to a Year 2000 problem?

Plan sponsor's computer system

  1. Has the plan obtained appropriate and timely information from the plan's sponsor regarding the Year 2000 compliance of its computer system?
  2. Has the plan's fiduciary considered the potential impact of a Year 2000 problem in the plan sponsor's computer system in developing the plan's contingency plan?

Investigations focused on financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, brokers, investment managers, etc.)

  1. Identify the types of services provided to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans (e.g., trustee services, banking, brokerage, investment management, record keeping). Describe the measures that have been taken to ensure that all such services have been evaluated for Year 2000 compliance.
  2. If the financial institution is subject to regulation by a federal, state or other regulatory agency, what actions were taken to comply with that agency's requirements?
  3. Has any governmental agency (state or federal) or other independent organization reviewed the company's computer operations for Year 2000 compliance? If so, identify the agency or agencies. If any report was produced and provided to the institution, please provide a copy.
  4. What actions have been taken by the financial institution to ensure that its service providers and vendors are Year 2000 compliant (e.g., have investment managers checked on the Year 2000 compliance of their brokers)?

Investment-related issues

  1. If the fiduciary makes investment decisions on behalf of the plan, what specific procedures are followed to determine that the investments are Year 2000 compliant?
  2. If the plan offers investment options in connection with individually directed accounts under section 404(c) of ERISA, has the plan fiduciary taken appropriate steps to ensure that the investment options and related information systems are Year 2000 compliant?
  3. If a plan has delegated investment responsibility or authority, in whole or in part, to an investment manager or other fiduciary, what procedures has the fiduciary implemented to monitor that fiduciary's investment decisions in connection with the Year 2000 problem?
  4. In selecting, hiring, and retaining an investment adviser or manager, has the plan fiduciary obtained and reviewed appropriate information aimed at determining that investment decisions are made with consideration of Year 2000 compliance?

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, Washington D.C.

Comments powered by Disqus

Hr Jobs

View All Job Listings