A retirement services group has proposed data standards that investment product providers and record keepers could use to provide the investment information feeds required by new federal regulations.

The SPARK Institute, Simsbury, Conn., developed the Data Layouts for Investment Related Retirement Plan Participant Disclosures to helped retirement plan sponsors and vendors implement the U.S. Labor Department’s new plan participant disclosure regulations.

The regulations will affect all types of plan investment providers, but SPARK developed the standards mainly for use by providers of products that are not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), such as separately managed accounts and non-registered annuities, because those providers now have no standardized mechanism for transmitting the required information to plan sponsors and record keepers, SPARK says.

Comments on the proposal are due Aug. 4.

Once the standards are completed, they will be posted on the SPARK institute, and providers and others will be able to use the standards for free, SPARK says.

- Allison Bell

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