The U.S. Departments of Labor and the Treasury announced thepublication of a request for information (RFI) soliciting publiccomments to assist the agencies in determining what steps to taketo enhance retirement security for workers in employer-sponsoredretirement plans through lifetime annuities or other arrangementsthat provide a stream of income after retiring. The RFI appears intoday's edition of the Federal Register.

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"[The] initiative is particularly important given the shift fromdefined benefit plans that offer employees lifetime annuities to401(k) and other defined contribution plans that typicallydistribute retirement savings in a lump sum payment," said PhyllisC. Borzi, assistant secretary for the Labor Department's EmployeeBenefits Security Administration.

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The RFI seeks comments on a broad range of topics,including:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of distributing benefits as alifetime stream of income both for workers and employers, and whylump sum distributions are chosen more often than a lifetime incomeoption.
  • The type of information participants need to make informeddecisions in selecting the form of retirement income.
  • Disclosure of participants' retirement income in the form ofaccount balances as well as in the form of lifetime streams ofpayment.
  • Developments in the marketplace that relate to annuities andother lifetime income options.

Written comments responding to the lifetime income RFI may beaddressed to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Regulationsand Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration,N-5655, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210, Attn:Lifetime Income RFI. The public also may submit commentselectronically by email to [email protected] or through the federale-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov.

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