Groups Ask DOL to Make 401(k) Electronic Delivery the Default

ICI, SPARK and the ACLI are among the eight organizations making the request.

Eight organizations associated with defined contribution (DC) plans, including the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and the SPARK Institute, have submitted a letter to the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (DOL) asking it to propose regulations that would permit plan sponsors to make electronic delivery the default method of delivery for retirement plan disclosures and notices. If employees did not want electronic delivery, they would have the ability to request paper copies.

The groups note that on August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Strengthening Retirement Security in America, directing the DOL to review within a year how to make retirement plan disclosures more understandable and usable. One of the options the order noted was electronic delivery, which would also reduce the cost of making these disclosures.

“We would urge the Department to further prioritize electronic delivery as a part of any rulemaking to reduce costs and burdens, as outlined by the Executive Order,” the letter states. “If finalized, those regulations would immediately make retirement plan disclosures and notices more efficient and useful for retirement savers. Electronic delivery empowers retirement plan participants by providing them constant and real-time access to information about their retirement benefits and other online tools that can assist with retirement planning. It also could make disclosures and notices much less costly.”

The groups note that with electronic delivery, the notices could be linked to other information, such as financial wellness, and positive actions, such as increasing retirement plan contributions.

The co-signees of the letter are the American Bankers Association, American Council of Life Insurers, American Retirement Association, ERISA Industry Committee, Investment Company Institute, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, SPARK Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The letter can be viewed here.