Thursday, July 14, 2011

DOL Officially extends fee disclosure....again....

In a notice on its website, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the extension of the applicability date of the fiduciary-level fee disclosure regulation issued under ERISA section 408(b)(2) until April 1, 2012. The Department had previously proposed to extend the applicability date only until January 1, 2012.

The DOL also announced an amendment to the applicability date of the participant-level fee disclosure regulation. Initial participant-level disclosures must now be made no later than 60 days after the first day of the plan year beginning after November 1, 2011; or if later, 60 days after the effective date of the fiduciary-level fee disclosure regulation.

Previously, the Department had proposed a 120-day transition period to provide the initial participant disclosures. The final rule is available here.

and a fact sheet for it here.

This delay doesn't change our views on the matter. Ultimately consumers should know what they pay for all goods and services and Plan Sponsors who are engaged in a trust arrangement, which all Qualified Plans are, further have an obligation to determine the reasonableness of a contract or arrangement.

In the absense of knowing all compensation arrangements, how can one determine that an arrangement is reasonable? The delays, nonetheless, are frustrating, another small win for the lobbyists.

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