The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is soliciting public comments to assist in determining whether and possibly how to expand or modify current rules regarding the electronic distribution of employee benefit plan information. Disclosure of plan information, such as quarterly account statements, is required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which is enforced by the department's Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Some workers and retirees may not be sufficiently computer literate to receive information electronically or have reasonable access to the Internet, and others may simply prefer traditional paper disclosure, says DOL. But in some instances, electronic disclosure may be just as effective as paper-based communications and could save employers and service providers money.
DOL's request for information sets forth 30 specific questions on a broad range of topics related to electronic distribution of benefit plan information. The department hopes to hear from plan participants and beneficiaries, employers and other plan sponsors, plan administrators, plan service providers, health insurance issuers, members of the financial community; and the general public. In addition to responding to specific questions contained in the request for information, interested parties are encouraged to address any other relevant matters.
The request can be viewed at http://s.dol.gov/E2. Comments are due by June 6.
Written comments may be addressed to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5655, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20210, Attn: Electronic Disclosure by Employee Benefit Plans RFI. The public also may submit comments by email to E-ORI@dol.gov or through the federal e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov/#!home.