The new requirements were scheduled to apply to plan contracts or arrangements for services in existence on or after July 16, 2011, but the department previously announced its intention to extend the deadline to January 1, 2012 (see EBSA Sets New 408(b)(2) Deadline for January 2012). The new proposal, when finalized, would make the extension official.
EBSA said it has received many requests that the effective date be extended. A significant number of parties have argued that more time is essential to update systems and procedures for information collection and disclosure. Pointing out that the DoL has not yet published a final rule, parties have explained that, if the Department modifies the current interim final rule, service providers will need additional time to make further changes. Based on these concerns, the Department believes that an extension of the rule’s effective date would lead to fuller and timelier compliance by plans and service providers, and thus would be in the interests of participants and beneficiaries.
In addition, an extension will enable the DoL to align the effective date for this regulation with the applicability date of the participant-level disclosure regulation. Although the final participant-level disclosure regulation was effective on December 20, 2010, its requirements only begin to apply for plan years beginning on or after November 1, 2011.
Text of the notice is here.The Federal Register’s main page is at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.