July 18, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced improved procedures for plan sponsors who wish to obtain fiduciary relief for a service provider’s failure to comply with the department’s plan-level fee disclosure rule.
Under the final 408(b)(2) regulation, which was effective July 1, if a plan sponsor discovers that required information has not been furnished, the sponsor must notify the department, by regular mail or electronically, when efforts to obtain the undisclosed information from a service provider are not successful (see “(b)lines Ask the Experts – Vendor Fails to Provide Fee Disclosure”). The direct final rule continues to permit paper or electronic submissions, but enhances the existing procedures by providing a dedicated P.O. Box address (U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Office of Enforcement, P.O. Box 75296, Washington, DC 20013) and a Web-based tool, at www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/feedisclosurefailurenotice.html, that will assist plan sponsors in ensuring that all required information is submitted and providing immediate confirmation that notices have been received by the department.
“These revised submission procedures will help plan sponsors who, through no fault of their own, do not receive the disclosures promised to them by the 408(b)(2) regulation. When efforts to resolve the disclosure failure with their service provider are ineffective, plan sponsors will be able to take advantage of an easy-to-use, online tool that will guide them through the information that must be submitted to the department and provide immediate confirmation that their notice has been received,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA Phyllis C. Borzi.
Parties wishing to comment on this direct final amendment to the 408(b)(2) regulation may do so by August 15 in accordance with instructions provided in the direct final rule. Unless significant adverse comment is received, these revised procedures will be effective on September 14. Text of the rule is here.