SPARK Responds to DoL Notice

June 10, 2011( - In a recent letter to the Department of Labor (DoL), the SPARK Institute responded to the proposed extension of the applicability dates for the fiduciary-level 408(b)(2) and the participant-level disclosure rules. 

In the letter, the SPARK Institute expressed its support for the proposed extensions, but offered several concerns regarding the 408(b)(2) rules. “Our members have been working diligently to understand and comply with the new disclosure requirements,” the SPARK claimed. “However, despite all of the progress that has been made, our members remain concerned about their ability to comply with both sets of rules by the proposed extended compliance dates.” 

To address their concerns, the SPARK offered several recommendations, including: 

  • The extension of the compliance date for the new 408(b)(2) rules for at least 180 days following the date of publication of the final rules in the Federal Register; 
  • The extension of the compliance date for the participant disclosure rules to at least 120 days following the compliance date for the new 408(b)(2) rules; 
  • The provision of a one year good faith compliance exception for plan sponsors under the participant disclosure rules with respect to the disclosure of investment information for all non-registered investment products; and 
  • The extension of the transitional guidance for benefit statements under the Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2006-03 to the participant disclosure rules until such time as a new electronic communications safe harbor and other rules are issued. 

The Spark Institute’s complete letter is available here. 


-Sara Kelly