WASHINGTON BUREAU — The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has pushed back the compliance deadlines for new retirement plan fee disclosure rules.

EBSA, an arm of the U.S. Labor Department, has changed the effective date for the interim final fiduciary-level fee disclosure rule to April 1, 2012, from July 16.

EBSA also has extended the effective date of the transitional rule for the final participant-level fee disclosure regulation, so that initial disclosures must be furnished to the agency no later than 60 days “after a first day of the first plan year beginning on or after November 1, 2011, or 60 days after the effective date of the fiduciary-level fee disclosure rule.”

The transitional rule also provides that certain quarterly disclosures must be furnished no later than 45 days after the end of the quarter in which the initial disclosures are required to be furnished to participants and beneficiaries under the transitional rule.

The rule is effective July 15.

EBSA says the final rule keeps a modified version of the 60-day transition rule that works in conjunction with the new effective date of the 408(b)(2) regulation that is now under development. The 408(b)(2) disclosure regulation will require retirement plan service providers to disclose comprehensive information about their fees and potential conflicts of interest to plan fiduciaries.

“This linkage will ensure that the 408(b)(2) regulation becomes effective first and that all plans will be able to take advantage of the transition period following the effective date of the 408(b)(2) regulation,” EBSA officials say.

EBSA Administrator Phyllis Borzi says employers and workers will benefit from the new fee disclosure rules.

But “extending and aligning the applicability dates of these related rules gives plan fiduciaries an appropriate amount of time to get all required fee and investment information from their covered service providers so they can then disclose, by the date required, complete and accurate information about retirement plan and investment costs to their workers,” Borzi says.

Retirement services groups have been asking EBSA to give employers and service providers more time to implement the new rules.

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