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DOL Corner

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL/EBSA) announced new guidance as featured below. You can subscribe to DOL/EBSA’s home page for updates

Brokerage windows

On August 21, DOL/EBSA published a Request for Information on the use of brokerage windows, self-directed brokerage accounts and similar features in 401(k)-type plans.

Some 401(k)-type plans offer participants access to brokerage windows in addition to, or in place of, specific investment options chosen by the employer or another plan fiduciary. These “window” arrangements can enable or require individual participants to choose from a broad range of investments. DOL/EBSA received a number of questions about brokerage windows following the 2012 publication of a final regulation on participant-level fee disclosure.

The RFI asks questions concerning brokerage windows, including:

  • the scope of investment options typically available through a window;
  • demographic and other information about participants who commonly use brokerage windows;
  • the process of selecting a brokerage window and provider for a plan;
  • the costs of brokerage windows; and
  • what kind of information about brokerage windows and underlying investment options typically is available and disclosed to participants.

Comments are due by November 19, 2014. Comments can be submitted electronically by email to or through the federal eRulemaking portal. Written comments may also be sent to:

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Regulations and Interpretations
Employee Benefits Security Administration, N-5655
Attn: Brokerage Window RFI
200 Constitution Ave, NW,
Washington, DC 20210

Missing participants

On August 14, DOL/EBSA issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01, which updates DOL/EBSA guidance on how fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution plans can fulfill their obligations under ERISA to locate missing participants and properly distribute the participants’ account balances.

Outreach and education

For notice of upcoming events as they are scheduled, subscribe to DOL/EBSA’s Website home page. DOL/EBSA conducts seminars for small businesses on retirement and health benefits plans.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 22-Sep-2014