EBSA Revises Submission Procedures for Fiduciary Relief Under Disclosure Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has announced improved procedures for plan sponsors who wish to obtain fiduciary relief for a service provider’s failure to comply with the department’s plan-level fee disclosure rule.

A new Direct Final Rule accordingly revises the mailing address and web-based submission procedures for filing certain notices under the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration’s fiduciary-level fee disclosure regulation under section 408(b)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

If a plan sponsor discovers that required information has not been furnished, the sponsor must notify the department, by regular mail or electronically, when efforts to obtain the undisclosed information from a service provider are not successful.  The direct final rule continues to permit paper or electronic submissions, but enhances the existing procedures by providing a dedicated P.O. box address (U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Office of Enforcement, P.O. Box 75296, Washington, DC 20013) and a web-based tool, at www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/feedisclosurefailurenotice.html, that will assist plan sponsors in ensuring that all required information is submitted and providing immediate confirmation that notices have been received by the department.

"These revised submission procedures will help plan sponsors who, through no fault of their own, do not receive the disclosures promised to them by the 408(b)(2) regulation.  When efforts to resolve the disclosure failure with their service provider are ineffective, plan sponsors will be able to take advantage of an easy-to-use, online tool that will guide them through the information that must be submitted to the department and provide immediate confirmation that their notice has been received.  Of course, plan sponsors who wish to submit a paper notice may continue to do so,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA Phyllis C. Borzi.  “Department staff also will be able to more efficiently receive, process, and review these notices, which will in turn benefit the plan sponsors who seek relief.”

Parties wishing to comment on this direct final amendment to the 408(b)(2) regulation may do so by Aug. 15, 2012 in accordance with instructions provided in the direct final rule.  Unless significant adverse comment is received, these revised procedures will be effective on Sept. 14, 2012.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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