SURVEY SAYS: What About that 408(b)(2) Delay?

July 21, 2011 ( - Last week the Department of Labor announced its intention to push back the effective date for 408(b)(2) fee disclosures.  

This week I asked readers if that was a good thing, a bad thing, a VERY good thing, a VERY bad thing, or a thing of no real consequence?

The vote was close, but a slim plurality (35.5%) thought the delay was “of no real consequence.” 

However, nearly as many – 33.9% – thought it was “a good thing”, and another 12.9% went so far as to call it “a VERY good thing.”

More than one-in-ten (11.3%) thought the delay was a bad thing, while 6.5% considered it to be “a VERY bad thing.’

The verbatim comments were, as always, interesting, some even “colourful”, though they mostly tilted toward – well, read for yourself…


Yet another shining example of true disarray in the public sector...let's just put it off again and by that participants will all know what fees they are paying even without these disclosure regs!! Wishful thinking I guess.

When the enforcement method is as draconian as the consequences of committing a prohibited transaction, they darn well ought to give everyone enough time to figure out how to comply.  It's absolutely ridiculous that it has taken them more than one year to go from Interim Final to...well, to still mulling over the Final rule.  This isn't rocket science, and the remaining issues aren't that hard to resolve.  I don't see how they will ever finish the new fiduciary proposal (which actually IS the ERISA equivalent of rocket science and chock-full of hard issues to resolve) by November.

From a plan sponsor's perspective, I think it would have been better to deal with after Q1 than Q2.  After Q2 in July of 2012, we'll be right in the middle of the plan audit and the preparation of the Form 5500.

Is anyone surprised that the DOL pushed back the effective date of something?

This is a good thing for ME, since it will be a lot of work for me, and "upper management" wants to wait until the very last second to do anything about this. And since the old deadline coincided with our annual open enrollment period, pushing it back just might save my sanity.


Let's just say that the DOL pushed back the effective date due to its own problem of issuing timely final regulations.  No matter what the deadline, there will be a last minute crunch.  Isn't this reminiscent of the PPA 2006 mandated deadline of August 17, 2007 for providing guidance and a model participant benefit statement?  Gee, you mean the DOL still hasn't done it!

It's hard to take it seriously if they keep delaying.

Let's just do it already or not. I will end up confusing more participants than it will help.

Since specifics and really, the final regs, are not available, it is good thing - overall fee disclosure is good, however, it would be nice to have a little clarity in how the DoL would like this information presented to plan sponsors.  I hope that they make this a straight forward process, right now as it is written it is not.  & they do need to finalize the fiduciary definition since this has a direct tie into this reg - this should change how some firms/advisors interpret their fiduciary duties to plan sponsors.

Wow. A government entity delayed a regulation that's unpopular with large powerful corporations? Devastatingly shocking.

I would rather see the effective date delayed than to have the financial and pension industries continue to attempt to decode the disclosure rules without as much guidance as can be obtained.

We outsource administration so when it is implemented it will be handled.I don't think our participants care one way or another.


We are ready to go - why wait?!

Our firm is ahead of the curve in preparing for compliance and will roll out on schedule, ahead of the delayed effective date. Nevertheless, I think it's good to delay so that there is additional time to think of things that may have been missed or could have been done better so they may be improved. Unfortunately I think all the additional information will further confuse most plan participants who even bother to look at it.

Who cares?  Eventually the rules will take effect and whenever that occurs most employees in this country will be confused, never understanding what they are being told, but will assume their company is taking advantage of them.  Just one more perception problem - it's the climate we live in.

We still need to proceed at the same pace, but this will give us time to make last minute changes when they FINALLY produce the final final regs.

The additional compliance requirements that have come out of the Obama Administration have just been overwhelming -- at a time when our benefits staff has been reduced and there is no plan to add anyone.  Any break we can get from all of this is welcome.

"It is just more nuisance reporting.

We were already getting a good breakdown of fees from our recordkeeper."


They need to repeal it and give credit to comparable information that is already provided.

Here's a thought, bring back the CCC. It'll create jobs and replant the trees we have to kill in order to produce the paper that'll be trashed before it's digested.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who noted ,”If you didn't study, it doesn't matter whether you flunk the test today or next week.”