EBSA Sets New 408(b)(2) Deadline for January 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) delayed the implementation of its new 408(b)(2) fee disclosure rules by six months.

An EBSA news release said the new January 1, 2012 date was designed to give regulators more time to consider suggestions to its interim final rule that was published July 16, 2010 (see “DoL Issues New Fee Disclosure Rules“). 

Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of DoL for EBSA said the suggestions include a summary document to “further assist panel fiduciaries in their review of furnished information.” The rule requires certain service providers to give fiduciaries information to help them assess the reasonableness of their plan fees and detect any potential conflicts of interest affect the quality of those services. The original applicability date was to plans or service arrangements in existence on or after July 16, 2011.

“The department intended to have final rules in place sufficiently in advance of the July 16 applicability date to avoid compliance problems for both plans and their service providers,” said Borzi, in the news release  “Given the need to ensure a careful review of all the valuable input we received on the interim final rule, including suggestions for a summary document to further assist plan fiduciaries in their review of furnished information, we now believe plans and plan service providers would benefit from an extension of the rules applicability date.  An extension of the applicability date to Jan. 1, 2012 will ensure that we have the time we need to get the final rule right and that plans and their service providers have the time they need to undertake orderly and efficient compliance efforts following publication of the final rule.”

More information about the 408(b)(2) rule is at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/cmt-1210-AB08.html.