White Paper Says Electronic Delivery Benefits Participants

According to a recent white paper, researchers have found that electronic delivery of retirement documents benefits plan participants, and urge the Department of Labor to make it the default option.

The white paper, Delivering ERISA Disclosure for Defined Contribution Plans, claimed that greater use of electronic delivery would give plan participants timely and easy access to necessary documents in a user-friendly format, allowing them to obtain further information or take action as necessary. The paper also claimed that greater use of electronic delivery for legally required plan disclosures will result in cost savings for plans, reduce environmental impacts, and meet statutory requirements and the goals of President Obama’s executive order on government regulation.

The study was co-authored by Peter P. Swire and Kenesa Ahmad, experts on cyberspace and laws governing the Internet who were commissioned by ICI and ASPPA to undertake the study.

“The arc of change is overwhelmingly in the direction of electronic rather than paper delivery,” said Swire. “With Internet access so widespread today, electronic disclosure is actually better in major respects than traditional paper delivery. There is a compelling case for the next DOL regulation to permit plans to choose a default rule of electronic delivery.”

The full paper is available here.