DOL Extends Effective Date For ERISA Disclosure Rules

The Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration Feb. 11 announced that it will extend the effective date for disclosure rules under Section 408(b)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to Jan. 1, 2012, an extension that some service providers had sought from the department.

The new financial disclosures had been scheduled to apply to plan contracts or arrangements for retirement-plan-related services in existence on or after July 16, 2011.

Disclosures of direct and indirect fees charged for services are necessary for plan fiduciaries to detect conflicts of interest and to assess the reasonableness of any contracts or agreements they sign with service providers, according to the interim final regulation issued in July 2010.

Department officials said in November 2010 that the timing of a final regulation was contingent on the department reaching a decision on whether to require that disclosures be provided in a standardized summary disclosure document.