EBSA launches electronic system to report fee disclosure problems

Plan sponsors seeking fiduciary relief for a service provider’s failure to comply with the department’s plan-level fee disclosure rule will be able to use a new online filing system, replacing the option of electronically sending notices to an email address at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.

The online tool will assist plan sponsors by ensuring that all required information is submitted and by providing immediate confirmation that notices have been received by the department.

“The revised submission procedures should provide plan sponsors a greater level of confidence that their requests for fiduciary relief have been received and will be efficiently processed and reviewed,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA Phyllis C. Borzi. “The easy-to-use online filing system guides plan sponsors through the information that must be submitted, and allows us to more quickly process and respond to their requests. We’ve also retained flexibility for those plan sponsors who choose to submit paper notices.”

The final fee disclosure rule for service providers went into effect July 1. It includes a provision to protect plan sponsors, or other responsible plan fiduciaries, from liability for a breach of their fiduciary duties under ERISA when, without the plan sponsor’s knowledge, a service provider fails to comply with the rule’s comprehensive disclosure requirements. If a plan sponsor discovers that required information has not been furnished, and efforts to obtain the information are not successful, the sponsor must notify the department, by regular mail or electronically.

Electronic notices now can be filed online at: www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/feedisclosurefailurenotice.html.

Plan sponsors who want to send paper notices can now submit them to:  U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Office of Enforcement, P.O. Box 75296, Washington, D.C. 20013.


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