The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL/EBSA) announced new guidance as featured below. You can subscribe to DOL/EBSA’s homepage for updates.
Guidance on fee disclosure rules
For your employees – DOL/EBSA held a webcast on September 13 to help participants understand the new fee disclosures they are receiving from their retirement plans. An archive of the webcast is available. DOL/EBSA also posted a dedicated Web page that includes publications, FAQs and videos.
On July 30, DOL/EBSA issued a set of frequently asked questions and answers in Field Assistance Bulletin 2012-02R to help plan administrators and service providers comply with the requirements of new rules improving the transparency of fees and investment expenses in retirement plans.
On July 18, DOL/EBSA published improved procedures for plan sponsors who want to obtain fiduciary relief for a service provider’s failure to comply with the plan-level fee disclosure rule.
The final 408(b)(2) regulation, effective on July 1, 2012, includes a provision to protect plan sponsors or other responsible plan fiduciaries from liability for a breach of their fiduciary duties under ERISA when, unknown to the plan sponsor, a service provider failed to comply with the regulation’s comprehensive disclosure requirements. If a plan sponsor discovers that required information has not been furnished, the sponsor must notify DOL/EBSA, electronically or by regular mail, when efforts to obtain the undisclosed information from a service provider are not successful. The new procedures allow a plan sponsor to notify DOL/EBSA online or by mail. The web-based tool will assist plan sponsors in ensuring that all required information is submitted with immediate confirmation of receipt by DOL/EBSA.
On February 3, DOL/EBSA published a final rule under ERISA Section 408(b)(2) that requires disclosures to employers sponsoring pension and 401(k) plans about the administrative and investment costs associated with providing such plans to their workers.
On October 20, 2010, DOL/EBSA published a final rule to help America’s workers manage the money they have contributed to their 401(k) accounts, or similar retirement plan accounts, by requiring the disclosure of information regarding the fees and expenses associated with their plans. This participant-level disclosure rule, under ERISA Section 404(a), also ensures that workers receive core investment information in a format that enables them to meaningfully compare their plan’s investment options.
Guidance for apprenticeship and training plans
On July 26, 2012, DOL/EBSA held a webcast for apprenticeship and training plans on fiduciary responsibilities. The webcast covered basic fiduciary responsibilities, including guidance on graduation ceremonies and program marketing Field Assistance Bulletin 2012-01. The archived webcast is available on DOL/EBSA’s website.
Outreach and education
For notice of upcoming events as they are scheduled, subscribe on DOL/EBSA’s homepage. DOL/EBSA also conducts seminars for small businesses sponsoring health benefits plans. Information on these events is also available on DOL/EBSA’s homepage.