Representatives from Prudential Financial Inc. are asking federal regulators to let retirement plan administrators take a more flexible approach to helping participants understand the plans.

Prudential, Newark, N.J., sent a team to testify at a meeting of the ERISA Advisory Council, an arm of the U.S. Labor Department.

The Prudential executives said the Labor Department, the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should work harder to coordinate retirement plan notice and disclosure requirements.

Regulators also should recognize the differences between actively-engaged and passive participants, and they should let plan sponsors and administrators offer less engaged participants streamlined notices that they can actually understand, the Prudential executives said.

Instead of requiring plans to send disclosure notices during arbitrarily selected periods, regulators should let employers give out notices when participants are thinking about retirement, such as during investment education seminars, the executives said.