New E-Delivery Safe Harbor

In response to an Executive Order issued last year to strengthen retirement security, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed rules for disseminating pension plan notices electronically. Participant notices for pension plans include Summary Annual Reports, Individual Benefit Statements, Annual Funding Notices, Investment-Related Disclosures and Summary of Material Modifications. The proposed rule details the conditions that must be met to ensure participants have access to the internet, the timing of delivery, and content for general communication when notices are posted to a website. While there have been established electronic delivery rules since 2002, these proposed rules essentially recognize the accessibility and participant desire to receive electronic communication. One particular addition is the provision to allow participants to affirmatively opt out and have access to paper copies when requested. For a full copy of the 115 pages please check it out here. A shorter version of the highlights are available on the DOL website.

The public has 30 days to respond with comments.

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