Reports and disclosures mandated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Erisa) are confusing and overwhelming for pension plan sponsors and recipients, the General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said in a report Tuesday.

GAO said Social Security Administration notices telling retirees of benefits left behind with previous employers in 401(k) plans and other programs can be misleading. The notices sometimes include benefits already paid because the data is managed by three agencies and none assumes responsibility for accuracy.

“With no agency fully responsible for the data throughout this process, individuals with vested benefits in former employers’ plans may continue to receive outdated information,” the report cautioned.

The study noted plan sponsors are required to file more than 130 Erisa reports and disclosures to the Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation and the Internal Revenue Service, though which ones each plan must submit varies.

“Determining which ones can be challenging, and the agencies’ online resources to aid plan sponsors with this task are neither comprehensive nor up-to-date,” the GAO report said.

The agency recommended requiring plan sponsors to include the summary plan description and summaries of material modifications on a Web site to give participants continuous access to plan details. Currently the sponsors are obligated to provide participants with the SPD once every 10 years if the plan has not changed and once every five years if it has.