HR pop quiz: Fee disclosure deadline

(Photo credit: Grant Cochrane) (Photo credit: Grant Cochrane)

The Department of Labor again pushed back the deadline for compliance on rule 408(b)(2). What is the new compliance date?

A) April 1, 2012

B) May 1, 2012

C) June 1, 2012

D) July 1, 2012

A) April 1, 2012

Incorrect. Try again!

B) May 1, 2012

Incorrect. Try again!

C) June 1, 2012

Incorrect. Try again!

D) July 1, 2012

Correct.

The Department of Labor announced a three-month extension (until July 1) on the 408(b)(2) rule, under which covered service providers must provide responsible fiduciaries with information they need to:

  • Assess reasonableness of total compensation, both direct and indirect, received by the CSP, its affiliates, and/or subcontractors;
  • Identify potential conflicts of interest; and
  • Satisfy reporting and disclosure requirements under Title I of ERISA.

The final rule applies to ERISA-covered defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans. It does not apply to simplified employee pension plans (SEPs), SIMPLE retirement accounts, IRAs, and certain annuity contracts and custodial accounts described in Internal Revenue Code section 403(b). The final rule does not apply to employee welfare benefit plans. EBSA intends to separately publish proposed disclosure requirements for welfare benefit plans in the future.

The final rule applies to covered service providers who expect at least $1,000 in compensation to be received for services to a covered plan. The final rule applies to the following covered service providers:

  • ERISA fiduciary service providers to a covered plan or to a "plan asset" vehicle in which such plan invests;
  • Investment advisers registered under Federal or State law;
  • Record-keepers or brokers who make designated investment alternatives available to the covered plan (e.g., a "platform provider");
  • Providers of one or more of the following services to the covered plan who also receive "indirect compensation" in connection with such services:
  • Accounting, auditing, actuarial, banking, consulting, custodial, insurance, investment advisory, legal, recordkeeping, securities brokerage, third party administration, or valuation services.

The final rule includes a class exemption from the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA for responsible plan fiduciaries that enter into service contracts without knowing that the covered service provider (CSP) has failed to comply with its disclosure obligations. The class exemption requires that fiduciaries notify the Department of the disclosure failure. Fiduciaries can file the notice online at www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/feedisclosurefailurenotice.html.

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