Employee Benefits-DOL Requests Information On Brokerage Windows

According to Employee Plans News, Issue 2014-15, September 22, 2014, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL/EBSA) on, August 21, 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 E-ORI@dol.gov 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