Retirement Plans Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor Proposed Rule (Fact Sheet)
November 5, 2019
Click here for more information (link to Department of Labor website)
- The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) announced a proposed rule on October 22, 2019 to allow retirement plan disclosures to be posted online to reduce printing and mail expenses for job creators and make disclosures more readily accessible and useful for America’s workers.
- The proposal:
- Offers more disclosure options, which will benefit retirees, workers, and employers by enhancing communication regarding retirement savings.
- Saves an estimated $2.4 billion net cost over the next 10 years for ERISA-covered retirement plans by eliminating materials, printing, and mailing costs associated with furnishing printed disclosures.
- Ensures workers’ rights to make the decision on how to best access their retirement information.
- Reflecting modern internet technology, the proposal offers a new, voluntary safe harbor for employers who want to make retirement plan disclosures accessible on a website, rather than sending volumes of paper documents through the mail.
- Plan participants would be notified that information is available online, including:
- Instructions for how to access the information.
- The right to paper copies of information.
- The proposal includes additional protections for retirement savers:
- Standards for the website where disclosures will be posted and
- System checks for invalid electronic addresses.
- When the conditions of the safe harbor are met, plan administrators may furnish documents electronically unless participants affirmatively opt out.