(b)lines Ask the Experts – 403(b) Must-Reads

August 14, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR (b)lines) – “I know it’s a bit late for summer reading list suggestions, but to be honest, I have continued to be so busy dealing with the regulatory issues that continue to affect 403(b) plans that I haven’t had the chance for any learning until now, which just happens to be my vacation! Any thoughts on some (hopefully light) 403(b) reading?”

Michael A. Webb, Vice President, Retirement Plan Services, Cammack LaRhette Consulting, answers:  

Well first of all, the Experts want you to ENJOY your vacation, and we realize that they mean taking your mind off of 403(b) issues for awhile. However, for you and others who insist on some late-summer reading suggestions, we are happy to oblige!  

For ERISA plan sponsors, the recent Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2012-02R at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/fab2012-2R.html (Note: this is NOT to be confused with FAB 2012-02, which was withdrawn) provides helpful Q and As on the upcoming (initial disclosure due August 30th) participant fee disclosure requirements, as well as providing some general insights into the DOL’s thought process with respect to general fiduciary process related to investments.  

In addition, the DOL has an excellent, brief brochure that the Experts feel should be required reading for any ERISA 403(b) plan fiduciary, called Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities, found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/meetingyourfiduciaryresponsibilities.pdf. It answers important questions such as who is a fiduciary and what responsibilities come along with being a fiduciary, in plain English. Best of all, the brochure is only 20 pages in length, and that includes title pages, et.al.  

For non-ERISA plans, the IRS’s 403(b) page (http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=172430,00.html) has many links to useful information, including 403(b) plan basics, as well as some of the more subtle operational issues which affect 403(b) plans. The page also links to some heavier reading such as the final 403(b) regulations, but the Experts would suggest saving that for a time other than vacation!  

And, of course, the twice-weekly PLANSPONSOR (b)lines newsletter that you are currently reading links to many short articles on the latest and greatest issues affecting 403(b) plans.  

From all of the Experts, we hope that you have a wonderful and relaxing vacation!  


NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.