NOTICE:  FIVE-DAY WINDOW UNTIL MARCH 24 TO COMMENT ON PROPOSED SUBSCRIBER CONTRIBUTION FORM FOR ACCE NOTICE:  FIVE-DAY WINDOW UNTIL MARCH 24 TO COMMENT ON PROPOSED SUBSCRIBER CONTRIBUTION FORM FOR ACCE

NOTICE: FIVE-DAY WINDOW UNTIL MARCH 24 TO COMMENT ON PROPOSED SUBSCRIBER CONTRIBUTION FORM FOR ACCESS TO DEATH MASTER FILE

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 ("BBA") set overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year, provided significant sequester relief over two years and, ultimately, reached a two-year budget agreement.  However, with potential significant implications to efficient plan administration, Section 203 of the BBA also directed the Secretary of Commerce to "not disclose to any person information contained on the Death Master File ("DMF") with respect to any deceased individual at any time during the three-calendar-year period, beginning on the date of the individual's death, unless such person is certified . . ."  (emphasis added).  Further, the Secretary of Commerce was directed to establish a program to allow parties which have "a fraud prevention interest or other legitimate need for the information and agree to maintain the information under safeguards similar to those required of Federal Agencies that receive return information . . ." to apply for certification. 

Unfortunately, the DMF may be closed to outside parties as early as March 26, 2014.  This could have significant implication to plans which utilize the DMF in order to provide efficient administration for their plans.  On March 19, 2014, the National Technical Information Service ("NTIS"), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce released a proposed certification form for individuals and entities to request limited access to the DMF.  For more information about NTIS, including the federal register link to NTIS' request for comments about the certification process issued on March 3, 2014, please click here:   http://www.ntis.gov/products/ssa-dmf.aspx.

The Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") is accepting feedback on the proposed form, but only until March 24, 2014 (only five days after the form was posted).  In order to provide comment send an electronic mail message to the following address:  OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax comments to (202) 395-5806.  The form may be found at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?documentID=458185&version=0. The form and other information about it also can be found at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201403-0692-001#section2_anchor.

This form is posted only for purposes of clearance under the emergency provisions of Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).  It has not yet been approved for submission.  Therefore, the form should not be submitted to, and will not be accepted by, NTIS.

If your plan utilizes the DMF for its legitimate business purposes, including satisfaction of its fiduciary duties in the efficient administration of the plan, please review the proposed form and submit any comments to OMB by March 24.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the information contained in this Notice, do not hesitate to contact one of our government plans professionals.  

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances. 
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