ERISA-EBSA Postpones Effective Dates Of New Fee And Investment Disclosure Rules

According to a Press Release (July, 13, 2011), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (the “EBSA”) has postponed the effective dates for the EBSA’s retirement plan fee and investment disclosure rules.

The Press Release says that the EBSA had published a regulation under ERISA Section 408(b)(2) on July 16, 2010. This regulation requires covered service providers of retirement plans to disclose comprehensive information about their fees and potential conflicts of interest to the fiduciaries of those plans. This regulation was to become effective with respect to plan contracts or arrangements for services in existence on or after July 16, 2011. However, a new regulation issued by the EBSA postpones the effective date to April 1, 2012.

The Press Release further says that the EBSA had published a participant-level regulation on Oct. 20, 2010. This regulation requires that employers disclose information about plan and investment costs to workers who direct their own investments in 401(k) plans and other individual account retirement plans which are subject to ERISA. This regulation generally applies in plan years starting on or after Nov. 1, 2011. However, the regulation had contained a 60-day transition rule, that permitted initial compliance no later than 60 days after the start of the first plan year beginning on or after Nov. 1, 2011(the “original transition effective date”). The EBSA’s new regulation revises the 60-day transition rule, so that the participant-level regulation does not become effective, and the initial disclosures are not required (subsequent disclosures are quarterly), until 60 days after the later of (i) the original transition effective date, or (ii) the effective date of the Section 408(b)(2) regulation.

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