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New Interim DOL Rule Regarding Electronic Disclosure Under Participant Fee Disclosure Regulations

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Stephen I. Jurmu
Foster Swift Employment, Labor & Benefits Quarterly
Fall 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor (the "DOL") recently issued an interim policy regarding how an employer can electronically disclose to plan participants information that must be provided pursuant to the DOL’s Final Participant Level Fee Disclosure Regulation. The Participant Fee Disclosure Regulation requires disclosures relating to plan costs and investment costs that are incurred by employees who direct their own investments in 401(k) and other individual account retirement plans. The new interim disclosure policy allows a plan administrator to furnish such required fee disclosures electronically if certain conditions and safeguards are met. These conditions and safeguards are similar to those contained in the electronic disclosure rules that apply to the distribution of other information such as the summary plan description (SPD) and any summary of material modifications (SMM). An employer whose 401(k) or other individual account retirement plan allows participant directed investments must comply (by use of the electronic disclosure rules or otherwise) with the new Participant Fee Disclosure Rules not later than May 31, 2012, or at a later date that is permitted by the new rules.

Please contact your Foster Swift employee benefits counsel if you have questions about the interim policy.