DoL to Outline Regulatory Agenda

December 4, 2009 ( - On Monday, December 7, the U.S. Department of Labor will make available video remarks by Secretary Hilda L. Solis outlining the department’s regulatory agenda.

The video remarks will start at 10 a.m. EST at From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST at the same Web location, the secretary will host a live Web chat — open to the public — to discuss the contents of the agenda. 

The announcement of the event said Solis’ Web chat will be followed on December 7, 8, and 9 (at the same Web address) by chats hosted by the heads of DoL agencies the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Office of Labor-Management Standards, the Wage and Hour Division, the Employment and Training Administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

The Web events are scheduled a little more than two weeks after the department was blasted for the EBSA’s withdrawal of final regulations regarding the provision of investment advice to defined contribution plan participants (see Boehner Slams Obama Administration for Advice Move). The question of what priority the issuance of new rules has in the DoL’s agenda may be answered by the events.

Among other retirement plan issues, the department has been called on to look into standards for target-date funds (see Target-date Fund Practices Targeted in Senate Hearing). The DoL and the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year held a joint hearing on target-date fund issues (see Rules/Regs:Hearing Aids?).

In addition, the DoL, along with the Treasury and Department of Health and Human Services missed the October deadline for final guidance on the implementation of the mental health parity law. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the three agencies are working diligently to issue that guidance by January 2010 (see Regulators Pass Deadline for Guidance on Mental Health Parity).

According to the announcement, the public may submit questions via e-mail beginning at 10 a.m. on December 7, to