Benefits Law Update

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Electronic Disclosure Comment Period Ends

As we discussed in an earlier post, in April the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting views, suggestions, and comments to determine whether to expand or modify the rules regarding electronic distribution of employee benefit plan information under ERISA. Over the years we have found that many employers have strong views regarding electronic disclosure, mostly along the lines that they would like to do more of it but feel constrained by the limitations in the current safe harbor. We encouraged clients to respond to the RFI with their experiences, concerns, and recommendations, and offered to assist them by collecting and compiling their responses into a group submission. The comment period for this RFI closed on Monday, June 6; our own comment letter, filed on behalf of a group of clients, is here.

We expect EBSA received a large volume of comments from a variety of interests, including employers, plan sponsors, administrators, service providers, and private individuals. From what we have seen so far, the comments vary on the details but overwhelmingly deliver the same general plea for EBSA to simplify and modernize the electronic disclosure rules and to work with Treasury to more closely align the agencies' two sets of electronic disclosure regulations. Comments should be posted to www.regulations.gov, ID 1210-AB50, within the next few weeks.

Topics: Plan Administration