The SPARK Institute and the Investment Company Institute have released a "Sample Glossary of Investment-Related Terms for Disclosures to Retirement Plan Participants" that defined contribution plans can use and adapt in complying with new Department of Labor participant disclosure regulations requiring plans to give participants specific information about plan investments, including fees and performance.

"Many service providers expressed the need for an industry-wide glossary that retirement plans could use to satisfy the requirement to provide participants with access to a glossary of investment terms when the new disclosure rules go into effect. We hope that the glossary helps to solve one of the compliance challenges that plan sponsors and administrators are faced with under the new Department of Labor plan participant disclosure rules," said Larry Goldbrum, SPARK Institute general counsel. The glossary defines more than 170 terms that are likely to apply to a wide group of plans and investments and took approximately one year to develop, he added. 

The glossary has been endorsed by the American Benefits Council, American Council of Life Insurers, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries and the Society for Human Resource Management. Goldbrum explained that "the glossary will be publicly available to record keepers, other plan service providers, and plan sponsors for use in meeting the Labor Department disclosure requirements. Plan participants are likely to start receiving new disclosures under the Labor Department requirements in 2012.

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