EBSA Schedules Advice Rule Public Hearing

The U. S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) scheduled an October 21 public hearing on its proposed regulation for providing retirement plan investment advice.

EBSA officials said in a news release that they decided to hold the public hearing to give members of the public an opportunity to add to what they had already communicated to the department via written comments.

The focus of the session will be the EBSA proposals released August 22 governing the provision of advice to participants and beneficiaries of self-directed plans such as 401(k)s or IRAs (see EBSA Clarifies Investment Advice Regulations). The DoL’s rulemaking was intended to clarify that Pension Protection Act provision allowing participants of 401(k) plans and IRAs to receive investment advice generated by an unbiased computer model or an adviser compensated on a “level-fee” basis.

Regulators said when the proposal was released, it was generally designed to protect participants from receiving investment advice from individuals with a vested interest in products.

Persons wishing to testify at the hearing should submit by October 16 an outline of topics to be discussed to e-ORI@dol.gov.

The hearing will take place in Room S-3215 A-B, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C.