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Using the Web for Employee Benefits Research: Principal Resources

David Rhett Baker
Copyright 2015, Inc. (but you may reprint this document in its entirety, including this statement, for any purpose)

January 12, 2015
Online at

Please email corrections or suggestions to (click)

United States Code

  1. Cornell Legal Information Institute

  2. Office of Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives

    The site includes "classification tables" showing which U.S. Code sections have been affected by recent legislation.

  3. Government Printing Office

  4. Article about using these sources to determine the currently effective U.S. laws: (Law Library Resource Xchange, LLC)

Internal Revenue Service

  1. Tax Information for the Benefits Practitioner (a section of the IRS web site)

  2. IRS Regulations

    Final and Temporary IRS Regulations,-Regulations-and-Official-Guidance

    Proposed IRS Regulations are published in the Federal Register (see "Federal Register," later in this document).

  3. Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures

    Revenue rulings issued during the current year that concern retirement plans, as gathered and published by the IRS' Employee Plans office.

    Revenue procedures issued during the current year that concern retirement plans, as gathered and published by the IRS' Employee Plans office.

    Internal Revenue Bulletins (where all revenue rulings and revenue procedures are published)

    Advance copies of IRS revenue rulings, revenue procedures and other administrative documents are published for the press and tax professionals by the IRS.

  4. IRS Forms and Publications

    Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memoranda, Chief Counsel Advice

    Note: they can be sorted by "Uniform Issue List number" (e.g., UIL 423.00-00 is "Employee Stock Purchase Plans")
  5. Federal Interest Rates

    Applicable Federal Rates (TimeValue Software)

    Weighted Average Interest Rate Table

    Funding Yield Curve Segment Rates

    Composite Corporate Bond Rate Table

  6. Examination (Audit) Guidelines from the IRS Manual -- see also: EP Examination Process Guide - Section 5 - Audit Guidelines, which includes links to relevant IRS publications and various guidance applicable to EP examinations.

  7. Employee Plans News (newsletter published by IRS)

  8. IRS "Published Guidance" Resource Page

    Hypertext list in chronological order (back to October 2000) of IRS Notices, Revenue Rulings, regulations, Announcements and more, all pertaining to retirement plans. Also has links to interest rate tables (monthly weighted-average interest rates), actuarial tables (section 7520 tables for valuing annuities, life estates, remainders and reversions), the IRS Priority Guidance Plan, and key legislative history affecting retirement plans.

  9. Tax Information for the Benefits Practitioner

    Hypertext links to information on retirement plan forms and publications; plan language resources (LRMs, alert guidelines, cumulative lists, etc.); overview of rules governing 401(k), SEP, SIMPLE IRA, and 403(b), etc.; list of IRS phone forums, benefits conferences, and educational services; the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System; determination, opinion and advisory letters; examinations; retirement tax shelters requiring special disclosure ("abusive tax transactions"); and more.

  10. Listing of Required Modifications (LRM) Language

  11. Alert Guidelines, Explanations & Plan Deficiency Paragraphs

  12. Employee Plans CPE Texts

    Published by the IRS as the Employee Plans Continuing Professional Education Technical Instruction Program for fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2013. (2000 is not online.)

Employee Benefits Security Administration (U.S. Department of Labor)

  1. DOL Regulations

    Final and Temporary DOL Regulations

    Proposed DOL Regulations

    Regulations also are published in the Federal Register (see "Federal Register," later in this document).

  2. Advisory Opinions and Information Letters

  3. Field Assistance Bulletins

  4. Class Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (some are not yet online, though)

  5. Individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (some are not yet online, though)

  6. Publications and Reports

  7. ERISA Advisory Council reports and statements submitted by witnesses

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

  1. PBGC Regulations

    Final and Temporary PBGC Regulations

    Proposed PBGC Regulations

    Regulations also are published in the Federal Register (see "Federal Register," later in this document).

  2. Technical Updates

  3. Current interest rates for use in termination of single-employer defined benefit plans

  4. Forms for plan administrators

  5. Publications

  6. Pension Search Directory

    This online database enables individuals to determine whether PBGC holds benefits for them, under defined benefit plans taken over by PBGC.

Federal Register

  1. Today's Federal Register

    BenefitsLink publishes a version that contains hypertext shortcuts to documents from the principal agencies that regulate employee benefit plans.

  2. Earlier Issues

    View each issue's table of contents, with clickable links to items

    View particular page by specified number

  3. Search the Federal Register

Court Opinions

  1. U.S. Supreme Court

  2. Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute provides links to U.S. Court of Appeal, U.S. Tax Court, and U.S. Supreme Court cases

  3. Law Library of Congress provides alternate links to U.S. Court of Appeal and U.S. Supreme Court cases

  4. District Court Opinions from many of the U.S. district courts

  5. State Court Web Sites

  6. U.S. Tax Court Opinions


U.S. Government Accountability Office

U.S. Congress

  1. Congressional Record

    Searchable database (select "Congressional Record" in the list in the left-hand column)

    View a particular issue

  2. Thomas Web server provides full text of bills, committee reports and some committee hearings transcripts, at

  3. House Committee on Ways and Means

  4. House Committee on Education & the Workforce

  5. Senate Committee on Finance

  6. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

  7. Senate Special Committee on Aging

  8. The Joint Committee on Taxation "Blue Books" are excellent descriptions of recently enacted legislation.

    Other Joint Committee publications describe recently introduced bills.

Surveys and Research Reports

  1. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

  2. Employee Benefit Research Institute

  3. International Society of Employee Benefit Specialists (Survey Results)

  4. National Bureau of Economic Research (working papers, generally available as PDF files for a $5 charge)

  5. Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

  6. Society of Actuaries

  7. U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

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