DOL Proposes Expanded Use of Electronic Delivery for Plan Documents

The Labor Department today issued its much-awaited proposal that would modernize retirement disclosures by providing a new safe harbor for employee benefit plan administrators to use electronic delivery for participant notices and disclosures.
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Under the proposal, plan administrators under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act that wish to rely on the existing safe harbor for electronic delivery—or to continue furnishing paper documents—may continue to do so. The new proposed safe harbor would feature a “notice and access” structure under which disclosures would be posted to a public website and participants notified electronically about these documents. Participants would be able to opt out of electronic delivery and choose to receive paper documents.
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If finalized, this proposal would provide: electronic delivery as the default method of delivery, making retirement plan disclosures and notices more efficient and useful for retirement savers, and less burdensome and costly for banks and other retirement services industry providers. Comments are due by Nov. 22.

Read the proposal.