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DOL Extends and Aligns Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final regulation to extend and align the applicability dates for its retirement plan fee disclosure rules.

On July 16, 2011, an interim final regulation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) Section 408(b)(2) was published requiring covered service providers of retirement plans to disclose comprehensive information about their fees and potential conflicts of interest to ERISA-covered plan fiduciaries. This regulation was to become effective with respect to plan contracts or arrangements for services in existence on or after July 16, 2011. The new, final rule moves the effective date of the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) regulation to April 1, 2012.

In addition, the DOL published a final participant-level regulation on Oct. 20, 2010, requiring that employers disclose information about plan and investment costs to participants who direct their own investments in ERISA-covered 401(k) and other individual account retirement plans. This regulation, which applies to plan years beginning on or after Nov. 1, 2011, contained a 60-day transition rule that permitted initial compliance no later than 60 days after the beginning of the first plan year on or after Nov. 1.

The new final rule retains a modified version of the 60-day transition rule that works in conjunction with the new effective date of the 408(b)(2) regulation.  For example,
participant-level disclosure regulation becomes applicable on January 1, 2012 for calendar year plans. Pursuant the final transitional rule, such plans must furnish their first set of initial disclosures (all disclosures other than disclosures required at least quarterly) no later than May 31, 2012, which is 60 days after the April 1, 2012 effective date of the 408(b)(2) regulation.

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About this Author

Maureen O'Brien, McDermott Will Emery, qualified plan design Attorney, welfare Administration lawyer
Counsel

Maureen O'Brien is counsel in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.  She focuses her practice on advising clients on a broad range of employee benefits matters, including qualified plan design, welfare plan design, employee benefit plan compliance issues, fiduciary matters, multiemployer pension plan issues and nonqualified deferred compensation plans.

312-984-3242
Todd A. Solomon apension 401k attroney  McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Chcago
Partner

Todd A. Solomon is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.  Todd focuses his practice primarily on designing, amending, and administering pension plans, profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans, 403(b) plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.  He also counsels privately and publicly held corporations and tax-exempt entities regarding fiduciary issues under ERISA, employee benefits issues involved in corporate transactions, executive compensation matters, and the implementation of benefit programs for domestic partners of employees. 

Todd has significant ERISA Title I experience and has counseled plan fiduciaries with respect to investment policies, private equity, hedge funds, and other alternative investments, prohibited transaction issues, investment management agreements and payment of expenses from plan assets.

He advises multinational clients on global employee benefits matters and compliance issues. Todd is a council member of the International Bar Association Global Employment Institute (GEI) and serves as editor of the GEI’s Annual Global Report on global legal issues impacting human resources.

Todd represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service on issues such as Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) filings, Audit Closing Agreement Program (CAP) negotiations, benefit plan audits and applications for determination letters. He negotiates with the Department of Labor in connection with benefit plan audits and Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program filings, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in connection with 4062(e) events and plan terminations.

Todd chairs the Firm's Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. He received the 2008 McDermott Will & Emery award for Outstanding Achievement and Commitment to Pro Bono and Service to the Community. Additionally, he is a member of the McDermott's Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has been involved with evaluating the Firm's domestic partner benefits policies and working with businesses in Chicago in jointly advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in the workplace.

312-984-7513