DoL Will Allow for Electronic Disclosure to Participants
September 13, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued an interim electronic disclosure policy for its participant fee disclosure regulations.
The upcoming participant fee disclosure regulation, set to take effect May 31, 2012, requires employers to disclose more information about plan and investment costs to workers in qualified plans. There has generally been support for allowing electronic disclosure from the industry (see “ASPPA Sees “Overwhelming” Response for Electronic Disclosure”).
“This technical release responds to requests by some plan sponsors and service providers to expand the ability of ERISA plans to use modern electronic disclosure technologies to communicate with plan participants while ensuring that all workers will benefit from the increased transparency provided by our fee disclosure rule,” said Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
EBSA will allow plan administrators to provide information required under the final participant disclosure rule electronically. This includes the use of Web sites, if certain conditions and safeguards are met. The interim policy states that the department will not take enforcement action based solely on a plan administrator’s use of electronic technologies to make the required disclosures under the participant fee disclosure regulation if the administrator complies with the conditions in the technical release.