Department of Labor Issues Guidance on New ERISA Fee-Transparency Rules

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Department of Labor Issues Guidance on New ERISA Fee-Transparency Rules

by Gary S. Young on May 29, 2012

July 1, 2012 is a significant date for Plan Sponsors and other Plan Fiduciaries. By that date, they should have received – and will need to begin evaluating – information received from “Plan Service Providers” under a newly effective, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Final Regulations. The “408(b)(2) Final Regulations” require Plan Service Providers to make disclosures – among other things, about their services, compensation and fiduciary status – to their clients (the responsible Plan Fiduciary) by the July 1st deadline. As a result, starting right now, Plan Sponsors face heightened expectations and legal responsibilities.

The 408(b)(2) Final Regulations appear to impose obligations only on Plan Service Providers to make required written disclosures. However, as explained in the preamble to the Final Regulations, under the general fiduciary rules of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), once the responsible Plan Fiduciaries receive the information, they will have a duty to evaluate the received information. (More accurately, fiduciaries have always had that obligation under ERISA; however, now that the disclosures must be made by Plan Service Providers, the importance of fiduciary compliance is highlighted.)

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Gary Young, Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC | Attorney Advertising

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