Compliance

White House Executive Order Snares Fee Disclosure, Advice Regs

By Fred Schneyer | January 22, 2009
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January 22, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - An executive order signed by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, ordering a temporary moratorium on new federal rules, will mean a delay in issuing two U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) fee disclosure regulations.

Emanuel's January 20 order may also put off the implementation date of the DoL's recently released final rule governing the provision of investment advice to retirement plan participants (See DoL Finalizes Rules on Investment Advice ).

A Washington Post news report said agencies were ordered to pull back all proposed or final regulations that have not been published in the Federal Register  so they can be "reviewed and approved by a department or agency head."  

For   all final regulations published in the Federal Register but not yet in effect, except for those impacting health, safety, environmental, financial, or national security matters,  the Emanuel memo asked department and agency heads to consider putting off the effective date.

Caught up in the order to stop processing unpublished rules are pending DoL proposed directives requiring service providers to disclose fees, compensation, and conflicts of interest to fiduciaries of 401(k) and other benefit plans (See  EBSA Puts out Provider Fee Disclosure Proposal ). DoL also released a proposed fee disclosure regulation for participant-directed individual account plans on July 23, 2008 (See EBSA Finishes Regulatory Package with Participant Disclosure Proposal ).

Both were still reported to be in process at the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - which has to approve new federal rules - but had not been published in the Federal Register by Inauguration Day.