The American Retirement Association advocates for policies that reduce the number and complexity of employee benefit plan disclosures and notices. Improving the effectiveness of required disclosures and notices and reducing their cost to employers and plan participants improves American worker’s retirement security.
The American Retirement Association supports modernizing the current system by defaulting plan participants into electronic delivery of required disclosures and notices. Electronic disclosures are more effective than paper disclosures in increasing participant engagement.
Executive Order on Strengthening Retirement Security in America
On August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an executive orderon retirement policy. The Executive Order directs the Departments of Labor and Treasury to complete a review of actions that could be taken through regulation or guidance, or both. These actionswould make retirement plan disclosures required under ERISA and the Code more understandable and useful for participants and beneficiaries, while also reducing the costs and burdens they impose on employers and other plan fiduciaries responsible for their production and distribution. The review shall be completed within 1 year of the order.
On December 12, 2018, the American Retirement Association filed a comment letter with the Department of Labor asking the Department to evaluate the following items to respond to the executive order: (1) eliminating redundant or ineffective notices, (2) coordinating timing of required notices, (3) permitting notices to be combined, (4) simplifying the content of required notices, and (5) increase plan sponsors ability to use electronic delivery.
On May 24, 2019, the American Retirement Association joined several other organizations in filing an additional comment letter to the Department of Labor asking the Department to expedite and prioritize guidance on electronic delivery that would make electronic delivery the default method of delivery for retirement plan disclosures and notices.
Department of Labor Rulemaking
On August 16, 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received a proposed rulefrom the Department of Labor entitled: “Improving Effectiveness of and Reducing the Cost of Furnishing Required Notices and Disclosures”. After OMB completes its review, it will go back to the Department of Labor to be formally released for comments.
The American Retirement Association’s comments to proposed rule will be forthcoming.
Electronic Delivery Report
In April 2018, Peter Swire and DeBrae Kennedy-Mayo, supported by the American Retirement Association and Investment Company Institute, released an update to their 2011 report entitled “Delivering ERISA Disclosure for Defined Contribution Plans: Why the Time Has Come to Prefer Electronic Delivery”.
On April 30, 2018, the American Retirement Association and Investment Company Institute formally submitted this report to the Department of Labor for their consideration.
On June 7, 2018, the American Retirement Association and Investment Company Institute formally met with the Department of Labor to discuss the benefits of electronic delivery and to review the 2018 update to the 2011 report.
On September 25, 2018, the American Retirement Association and Investment Company Institute submitted a follow-up letter to the Department of Labor to respond to several pertinent questions the Department raised during the June 2018 meeting.
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