The Employee Benefits Security Administration has released regulations that will help it use its new authority to fine retirement plan sponsors that fail to meet new federal requirements.

The rules, included in the Pension Protection Act of 2006, require employers to notify participants in 401(k) plans and similar plans that the participants have the right to sell company stock and use the proceeds to buy other investments.

The rules also require employers to notify plan participants of the importance of diversifying retirement plan portfolios.

The new PPA rules permit EBSA’s parent organization, the U.S. Department of Labor, to punish violators of the rules with fines of up to $100 per participant per day.

The regulations implementing the rules appear today in the Federal Register.

EBSA officials note that department decided to publish the regulation as a “direct” final review because it believes the rule is technical in nature.

EBSA also has published the text of the regulation in the Federal Register today as a proposed rule.

If many commenters object to the diversification fines rule, the Labor Department will withdraw the final rule and develop regulation based on the proposed rule, officials say in the preamble to the direct final rule.

The final rule is on the Web