Under a 2002 electronic safe harbor rule, benefit plan administrators can use electronic delivery methods for summary plan descriptions, benefit statements, administrative forms, annual notices and the like.
However, the safe harbor places various restrictions on the use of electronic delivery. For instance, merely posting the information on an intranet site is not deemed sufficient, but sending it via an e-mail attachment with return receipt is. Also, if not everyone at work has access to a computer, those people without computers must be given the option of a paper delivery.
The Department of Labor (DOL), which issued the 2002 rule, now wants to revisits the safe harbor provisions in light of all the technological advances since the first issuance. The deadline is June 6, and details about participation can be found in the Federal Register.