Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
Labor Department agency charged with overseeing management of the nation's approximately 707,000 private retirement plans and approximately 5 million health and welfare plans. Under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (q.v.), administrators of private pension and welfare plans must provide plan participants with easily understandable summaries of plans; must file those summaries with the EBSA; must report annually on the financial operation of the plans; and must meet other fiduciary standards—all of which are overseen and enforced by EBSA. Vesting, participation, and funding standards are primarily enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. The independent Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a wholly owned government corporation, pays or owes benefits to 1.5 million current or future retirees under failed pension plans and administers two insurance programs that together protect 41 million workers in about 24,000 defined benefit pension plans.