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DOL/EBSA RIN: 1210-AB90 Publication ID: Fall 2019 
Title: Default Electronic Disclosures by Employee Pension Benefit Plans Under ERISA 
Abstract:

This regulatory action is being proposed in response to Executive Order 13847, Strengthening Retirement Security in America, and would explore ways to reduce the costs and burdens imposed on employers and other plan fiduciaries responsible for the production and distribution of retirement plan disclosures required under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as well as ways to make these disclosures more understandable and useful for participants and beneficiaries.

 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 2520.104b   
Legal Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1024 (ERISA sec. 104)    29 U.S.C. 1029(c) (ERISA sec. 109(c))    29 U.S.C. 1030 (ERISA sec. 110)    29 U.S.C. 1135 (ERISA sec. 505)    E.O. 13847, 83 FR 45321 (August 21, 2018)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

Regulatory burdens and complexity can be costly and discourage employers, especially small businesses, from offering workplace retirement plans to their employees.  Businesses are sensitive to the overall expense of setting up such plans.  A recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that 71 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses that do not offer retirement plans were deterred from doing so by high costs; 37 percent cited high costs as their main reason for not offering such a plan.  Federal agencies should revise or eliminate rules and regulations that impose unnecessary costs and burdens on businesses, especially small businesses, and that hinder formation of workplace retirement plans.  Reducing the number and complexity of employee benefit plan notices and disclosures currently required would ease regulatory burden.  The costs and potential liabilities for employers and plan fiduciaries of complying with existing disclosure requirements may discourage plan formation or maintenance.  Improving the effectiveness of required notices and disclosures and reducing their cost to employers promote retirement security by expanding access to workplace retirement plans.  This review shall include an exploration of the potential for broader use of electronic delivery as a way to improve the effectiveness of disclosures and to reduce their associated costs and burdens.  In 2002, the Department issued rules for electronic distribution of plan disclosures.  Since then, there have been substantial changes in technology, including the expansion of broadband and wireless networks, improvements to servers and personal computers, introduction and expansion of email, smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, and social networking.  

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Section 505 of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. 1135 provides that the Secretary of Labor may prescribe such regulations as he finds necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of Title I of ERISA.

Alternatives:

To be determined.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The Department is conducting an assessment of costs and benefits anticipated from the regulatory action together with, to the extent feasible, a quantification of those costs and benefits.

Risks:

To be determined.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/23/2019  84 FR 56894   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/22/2019 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Jeffrey J. Turner
Deputy Director, Office of Regulations and Interpretations
Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
Room N5669, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., FP Building, Room N-5655,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-8500