®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week
Labor Seeks Information Regarding Disclosure Obligations of Fiduciaries of Employee Benefit Plans Governed by ERISA
Due to recent events including certain rulings by the Supreme Court and several federal circuit courts and recent changes in the laws governing the substantive requirements for employee benefit plans, some uncertainty has arisen as to how plan fiduciaries may best conduct their affairs so as to satisfy their fiduciary and disclosure obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In an effort to clarify this uncertainty the Department of Labor has decided to request information from the public regarding this issue.
According to the Federal Register notice, ERISA contains specific disclosure rules, contained in part 1 of Title I, that "require disclosure of certain information to participants and beneficiaries. Part 1 generally imposes two categories of obligations on plan administrators: (1) Obligations to disclose certain information automatically; and (2) obligations to disclose certain information upon a participant's or beneficiary's request."
Due to the recent court rulings and changes in the laws mentioned above, uncertainty has been created as to how plan fiduciaries may best conduct their affairs so as to satisfy their fiduciary and disclosure obligations under ERISA.
The reason the Department of Labor is requesting public information on this issue is to determine "whether it would be in the interest of plans, and their participants and beneficiaries, for the Department to undertake action to clarify the extent of fiduciary duties under ERISA regarding disclosure and the interaction of this fiduciary duty with the specific disclosure requirements under Part 1 of Title I."
The Department of Labor intends to consider a variety of possible actions, including (but not limited to) "promulgation of formal regulatory guidance, more targeted intervention in litigation, enforcement actions, or legislative reform proposals."
Written comments are requested to be submitted to the Department of Labor on or before January 12, 2001. For complete contact information including addresses to which to send comments, please click on the Federal Register notice below.
Click here to read full notice in the Federal Register.
CRE invites all interested parties to submit comments on these issues to CRE's Interactive Public Docket.
Please click below to submit comments regarding Disclosure Obligations of Fiduciaries of Employee Benefit Plans.
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