A DoL fact sheet posted on the agency’s Web site said the RFI will have “37 specific questions designed to obtain focused commentary to help EBSA (Employee Benefits Security Administration) make its determinations” about guaranteed income annuities or similar investment products. The RFI will be co-sponsored by the Treasury Department.
The DoL document points out that the trend away from defined benefit, which pay out via annuities, to defined contribution plans, which pay out in lump sums, means “employees rather than employers are increasingly responsible for the adequacy of their retirement savings.”
Labor officials first
unveiled the annuity initiative during the kickoff of a series of Web chat
sessions to discuss the agency’s regulatory agenda. Secretary Hilda L. Solis
kicked the sessions off with an overview and also answered live questions
submitted by e-mail or via the DoL site (see DoL Discusses Lifetime Annuity Project).
A similar session by Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis C. Borzi, EBSA head, is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. More information on the EBSA Web chat is at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/chat-ebsa.htm.
A DoL document summarizing its major regulatory goals is available here.