For Immediate Release: September 17, 2012
Contact: Jason Surbey or Mike Trupo
US Labor Department announces easy-to-use online filing tool for plan
sponsors to report service providers that fail to comply with fee disclosure rule
Online system will allow more efficient processing of requests for fiduciary relief
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration announced today that plan sponsors seeking fiduciary relief for a service provider’s failure to comply with the department’s plan-level fee disclosure rule will be able to use a new online filing system, replacing the option of electronically sending notices to a previously established email address. The online filing tool will better assist plan sponsors who file electronically by ensuring that all required information is submitted, and providing immediate confirmation that notices have been received by the department.
“The revised submission procedures should provide plan sponsors a greater level of confidence that their requests for fiduciary relief have been received and will be efficiently processed and reviewed,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA Phyllis C. Borzi. “The easy-to-use online filing system guides plan sponsors through the information that must be submitted, and allows us to more quickly process and respond to their requests. We’ve also retained flexibility for those plan sponsors who choose to submit paper notices.”
The final service provider-to-plan sponsor fee disclosure rule, referred to as the 408(b)(2) regulation for the relevant section in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, became effective on July 1, 2012. It includes a provision to protect plan sponsors, or other responsible plan fiduciaries, from liability for a breach of their fiduciary duties under ERISA when, without the plan sponsor’s knowledge, a service provider fails to comply with the rule’s comprehensive disclosure requirements. If a plan sponsor discovers that required information has not been furnished, and efforts to obtain the information are not successful, the sponsor must notify the department, by regular mail or electronically.
Electronic notices now can be filed online at: www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/feedisclosurefailurenotice.html.
Plan sponsors who want to send paper notices can now submit them to a dedicated P.O. box address, rather than to the department’s general mailing address. Notices can be addressed to: U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Office of Enforcement, P.O. Box 75296, Washington, D.C. 20013.
The department initially published the revised procedures as proposed improvements on July 16, 2012, and invited public comment through August 15, 2012 (77 FR 41678). During that time, no comments were received. Accordingly, because no significant adverse comment was received, the revised procedures automatically became effective on September 14, 2012.
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.