Department of Labor Extends Specified Applicability Dates

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) published a notice in the Federal Register on June 1 that proposed to extend the applicability dates for fiduciary-level fee disclosure regulations (29 CFR 2550.408(b)-2(c)) and related participant-level disclosures ( 29 CFR 2550.404a-5) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to January 1, 2012, and April 30, 2012, respectively.

In July 2010, EBSA had proposed interim final regulations requiring retirement plan service providers to make significant disclosures regarding fees and potential conflicts of interest to plan fiduciaries. The disclosures as originally promulgated were scheduled to apply to contracts and services subsequent to July 16, 2011. EBSA also had published a final rule on October 20, 2010, concerning the disclosure of fee and expense information by plan administrators to participants and beneficiaries, with an effective date of November 1, 2011, with a 60-day transition period for compliance. This participant-level disclosure would require plan administrators of 401(k)s, for example, to disclose plan and fee information to participants as a prerequisite for an individual employee to direct investments under a plan.

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