The group, which includes the American Benefits Council, wrote a letter to the DOL complaining that the comment period was too brief and that they have concerns about the very way the need for the guide is being determined.
The idea is to force 401(k) plan administrators to do a better job of disclosing their fees, as reflected when the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration issued final regulations under ERISA section 408(b)(2) in early 2012.
The DOL followed up with an “information collection request” that sought input from “covered service providers,” or CSPs, on the idea of a guide.
While the EBSA did not require them to, it did encourage the service providers to provide, especially for small- and medium-sized plans, a “guide, summary, or similar tool to assist RPFs in identifying all of the disclosures required under the final rule, particularly when service arrangements and related compensation are complex and information is disclosed in multiple documents.”
As an appendix to its final 408(b)(2) rule, EBSA included a sample guide that it said could be used “on a voluntary basis by CSPs as a model” for that guide. It also said that it intended to propose that CSPs be required to provide a guide, and it has now done so.