Direct employee retirement inquiries to new Labor hotline

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

In the wake of the Enron debacle, the U.S. Labor Department has introduced a new toll-free number, (866) 275-7922, for companies and employees who have questions about their retirement or health benefit plans. The hotline automatically links callers to benefit advisers in the nearest office of the Labor Department's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration. Questions are answered in English, Spanish and Mandarin. For online advice, go to http://askpwba. dol.gov.

Meanwhile, if employers or workers have questions regarding wages, overtime or other Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) issues, the Labor Department's Wage & Hour Division now says it wants them to use the national hotline, (866) 4US-WAGE, rather than calling Labor Department regional or district offices. You can also find answers to common FLSA questions through the department's "elaws" Web site at www.dol.gov/ elaws/flsa.htm.

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