WSR 01-04-028

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

RETIREMENT SYSTEMS

[ Filed January 30, 2001, 4:48 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department proposes amending the dependent care assistance salary reduction plan rules (WAC 415-610-010 through 415-695-040) to put them all into one chapter, and make some minor housekeeping changes such as changing the names of headings to make it easier to find information. In addition, the department proposes amending WAC 415-630-030 to become consistent with a change to the Internal Revenue Service amended Income Tax Regulations (26 C.F.R. Part 1) under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code. These changes became effective on January 10, 2001.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 41.40.020, 41.50.050(5), 41.04.600 - 41.04.645, 26 U.S.C. 125, 26 C.F.R. Part 1 (Tax Treatment of Cafeteria Plans).

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Excellent customer service dictates that the department's members and staff find information easily, and that the information be clear and comprehensive. Currently, the dependent care WACs are spread through ten WAC chapters and include heading names that do not relate to dependent care. The department believes that the proposed changes help the department's customers and staff by eliminating long searches through many pages of rules for the information they seek. The change to WAC 415-630-030 is needed because the Internal Revenue Service amended Income Tax Regulations (26 C.F.R. Part 1) effective January 10, 2001, and the department seeks to bring the state rule into compliance with the federal change.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Internal Revenue Service regulates this subject. We will work with an IRS consultant on the proposed rule changes.

Process for Developing New Rule: Department staff will work on the project, with the assistance of the Office of the Attorney General. The public is invited and encouraged to participate, as described below.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The Department of Retirement Systems encourages your active participation in the rule-making process. Anyone interested in participating should contact the rules coordinator below. After the rule(s) is drafted, DRS will file a copy with the Office of the Code Reviser with a notice of proposed rule making, and send a copy to everyone currently on the mailing list and anyone else who requests a copy. For more information on how to participate, please contact Merry A. Kogut, Rules Coordinator, Department of Retirement Systems, Mailstop 48380, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380, voice (360) 664-7291, TTY (360) 586-5450, e-mail merryk@drs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-3618.

January 26, 2001

Merry A. Kogut

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office