On February 2, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued final regulations under Section 408(b)(2) of ERISA (the “Final 408(b)(2) Regulations”), which requires “covered service providers” to disclose to “responsible plan fiduciaries” (including employer plan sponsors and plan administrators) certain direct and indirect compensation they receive in connection with the services that they provide to a plan. These regulations are part of the DOL’s initiative to increase transparency for plan fiduciaries and participants of fees and costs associated with retirement plans. Another piece of the DOL’s initiative are final regulations under Section 404(a) of ERISA, which require fiduciaries of account balance plans, such as 401(k) plans, to provide disclosures of fees charged to the accounts of plan participants and beneficiaries, commonly referred to as “participant-level disclosures.”
The Final 408(b)(2) Regulations extend the due date for providing service provider disclosures to July 1, 2012. This extension impacts the due date for participant-level disclosures, which is now August 30, 2012, with the first quarterly participant statements to be furnished no later than November 14, 2012.
Members of the Firm’s Employee Benefits department have issued a client advisory on these upcoming critical deadlines.