The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued guidelines for the electronic distribution of mandatory investment and fee disclosures for participants in self-directed account plans subject to ERISA. This guidance may help plan administrators implement the new rules for the disclosure of quarterly and annual plan-related information, but still contains affirmative participant approval requirements for the electronic distribution of all initial disclosure notices and mandated investment-related information to participants. Prior to August 2012, plan sponsors and administrators of calendar-year plans should familiarize themselves with the new guidelines to determine what mandatory disclosures will be made in electronic format (if any), and whether their plans have sufficient systems and administrative capabilities to provide the mandatory disclosures in an electronic format.
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