For Immediate Release: September 13, 2011
Contact: Mike Trupo or Jason Surbey
Phone: 202-693-6588 / 202-693-4668
US Department of Labor issues interim e-disclosure policy under participant fee disclosure regulations
Washington – The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration today issued Technical Release 2011-03 which sets forth an interim policy regarding the use of electronic media to satisfy disclosure requirements under the department's final participant-level fee disclosure regulation.
The participant fee disclosure regulation requires employers to disclose more information about plan and investment costs to workers who direct their own investments in ERISA-covered 401(k) and other individual account retirement plans. Under the final rule, plans generally have until at least May 31, 2012 to start giving better information on 401(k) and similar plan fees and expenses to an estimated 72 million participants.
"This technical release responds to requests by some plan sponsors and service providers to expand the ability of ERISA plans to use modern electronic disclosure technologies to communicate with plan participants while ensuring that all workers will benefit from the increased transparency provided by our fee disclosure rule," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Phyllis C. Borzi.
Today's technical release allows plan administrators to furnish information required under the final participant disclosure rule electronically. This includes the use of continuous access websites, if certain conditions and safeguards are met. The interim policy states that the department will not take enforcement action based solely on a plan administrator's use of electronic technologies to make the required disclosures under the participant fee disclosure regulation if the administrator complies with the conditions in the technical release.
The relief in the technical release is limited to the disclosures required under the final participant fee disclosure regulation at 29 CFR 2550.404a-5. To view Technical Release 2011-03 visit www.dol.gov/EBSA/pdf/tr11-03.pdf
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.