In response to a request for information issued by the Department of Labor on electronic disclosure regarding retirement plans to sponsors and participants, the SPARK Institute urged the DOL to issue rules that would allow "widespread use" of electronic media, rather than paper documents, the Institute announced Wednesday.
On April 7, the DOL issued a request for information to solicit public opinion on whether and how to expand or modify electronic distribution standards for plan disclosures. The comment period ends June 6.
Larry Goldbrum, general counsel for SPARK, noted in a press release that since workers have embraced electronic communication for almost every area of their daily lives, it's likely that "the vast majority of service providers, plan sponsors and American workers prefer, and would embrace, greater use of electronic communication for retirement plan communications."
“It is our opinion that electronic communications are inherently better and a more powerful medium than paper materials sent through the mail. Electronic communications are also less costly and more environmentally friendly,” Goldbrum said.
The SPARK Institute further urged the DOL to consider rules that would require disclosures distributed through electronic means to be available using any technology or hardware, and that disclosures be the "same for all defined contribution plans, all materials and all recipients."