MUTUAL FUND RETIREMENT PLAN ISSUES



The U.S. Labor Department has regulatory jurisdiction over many retirement plan issues, as a result of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Over the past several years, the Labor Department has issued new regulations affecting 401(k) plans and other types of retirement vehicles for individual investors. 

 

Some of these regulatory measures are designed to ensure that investors in these retirement plans have the information needed to make informed decisions about the management of their individual accounts and the investment of their retirement savings.

 

Other regulatory measures are designed to improve disclosures to the fiduciaries of retirement plans about service provider fees and other compensation structures, potential conflicts of interest, and business relationships among service providers.

 

More recently, the Labor Department has proposed a new regulation that expands the current definition of "fiduciary," for persons providing investment advice for a fee to a retirement plan or to an individual retirement account. The proposed rule is intended to protect investors from conflicts of interest and self-dealing by financial intermediaries. As proposed, it corrects some of the limitations of the current fiduciary rule and provides a clearer understanding of when persons providing investment advice are subject to ERISA's fiduciary standards. 

  • Labor Department Final Rule on Service Provider Disclosures
    On February 3, 2012, the Department of Labor issued a final regulation under ERISA, requiring that service providers to retirement plans disclose more information to plan fiduciaries about their: (1) direct and indirect compensation arrangements, (2) relationships to other service providers, and (3) potential conflicts of interest.
  • Labor Department Testimony on the Proposed Fiduciary Rule
    On July 26, 2011, Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis Borzi testified before the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions about the Department of Labor's proposed regulation to expand the current definition of "fiduciary" for those persons providing investment advice to a retirement plan or to an individual retirement account. In her testimony, Assistant Secretary Borzi discusses the need to update the fiduciary rule to reflect the variety and complexity of financial products now being offered to individual investors. She also reviews the large volume of comments which have been submitted regarding the Department's proposal.
  • Labor Department Proposes New Definition of "Fiduciary" Regarding Investment Advice
    On October 22, 2010, the Labor Department published a proposed regulation defining when a person is considered to be a "fiduciary" by reason of providing investment advice for a fee, with respect to assets of an employee benefit plan or an IRA.
  • Labor Department Issues Final Rule to Improve Investor Disclosures in Retirement Plans
    On October 20, 2010, the Labor Department issued a final regulation under ERISA, requiring the disclosure of certain retirement plan and investment-related information, including fee and expense information, to investors in participant-driven individual retirement accounts (e.g. 401(k) plans). This regulation is intended to ensure that all participants and beneficiaries in these plans have the information they need to make informed decisions about the management of their individual accounts and the investment of their retirement savings.
  • Labor Department Issues Interim Final Rule on Service Provider Issues
    On July 16, 2010, the Department of Labor issued an interim final regulation under ERISA, requiring that certain service providers to retirement plans disclose more information to plan fiduciaries about their compensation arrangements, relationships to other service providers, and potential conflicts of interest.
  • SEC Announcement on Joint Retirement Plan Agreement
    On July 29, 2008, the SEC announced a joint information-sharing and cooperation agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to help protect the interests of investors in private sector retirement plans.
  • SEC and Labor Department Retirement Plan Agreement
    On July 29, 2008, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao announced an information-sharing and cooperation agreement to help protect the interests of investors in private sector retirement plans.
  • Labor Department Rule Regarding Disclosures to Retirement Plan Participants
    On July 23, 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to improve the disclosures to individual investors about each retirement plan and its investment alternatives, so that plan participants can have the information they need to make informed decisions about the management of their retirement savings.
  • Labor Department Rule on Service Provider Disclosures
    On December 13, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to require that contracts between employee benefit plans and service providers contain provisions to enhance disclosure of compensation and potential conflicts of interest.
  • Final Labor Department Annual Reporting and Disclosure Regulations
    On November 16, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule to increase the disclosures that benefit plans (including 401(k) retirement plans) provide in their annual reports to the government.
  • Labor Department Rule Regarding the Availability of Pension Plan Information
    On September 14, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to require the administrator of a multi-employer plan to provide actuarial and financial information to participants upon request.
  • Labor Department Requests Comments on Investment Disclosures in Employee Benefit Plans
    On April 25, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Request for Information regarding whether actions should be taken to ensure that individuals in participant-directed account plans (e.g. 401(k) plans) have adequate information to make informed decisions about their investments.
  • Proposed Labor Department Annual Reporting and Disclosure Regulations
    On July 21, 2006, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to increase the disclosures that benefit plans (including 401(k) retirement plans) provide in their annual reports to the government.

The U.S. Labor Department has regulatory jurisdiction over many retirement plan issues, as a result of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Over the past several years, the Labor Department has issued new regulations affecting 401(k) plans and other types of retirement vehicles for individual investors. 

 

Some of these regulatory measures are designed to ensure that investors in these retirement plans have the information needed to make informed decisions about the management of their individual accounts and the investment of their retirement savings.

 

Other regulatory measures are designed to improve disclosures to the fiduciaries of retirement plans about service provider fees and other compensation structures, potential conflicts of interest, and business relationships among service providers.

 

More recently, the Labor Department has proposed a new regulation that expands the current definition of "fiduciary," for persons providing investment advice for a fee to a retirement plan or to an individual retirement account. The proposed rule is intended to protect investors from conflicts of interest and self-dealing by financial intermediaries. As proposed, it corrects some of the limitations of the current fiduciary rule and provides a clearer understanding of when persons providing investment advice are subject to ERISA's fiduciary standards. 

Document Title: 
Labor Department Final Rule on Service Provider Disclosures
Document Desc: 
On February 3, 2012, the Department of Labor issued a final regulation under ERISA, requiring that service providers to retirement plans disclose more information to plan fiduciaries about their: (1) direct and indirect compensation arrangements, (2) relationships to other service providers, and (3) potential conflicts of interest.
Document Title: 
Labor Department Testimony on the Proposed Fiduciary Rule
Document Desc: 
On July 26, 2011, Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis Borzi testified before the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions about the Department of Labor's proposed regulation to expand the current definition of "fiduciary" for those persons providing investment advice to a retirement plan or to an individual retirement account. In her testimony, Assistant Secretary Borzi discusses the need to update the fiduciary rule to reflect the variety and complexity of financial products now being offered to individual investors. She also reviews the large volume of comments which have been submitted regarding the Department's proposal.
Document Title: 
Labor Department Proposes New Definition of "Fiduciary" Regarding Investment Advice
Document Desc: 
On October 22, 2010, the Labor Department published a proposed regulation defining when a person is considered to be a "fiduciary" by reason of providing investment advice for a fee, with respect to assets of an employee benefit plan or an IRA.
Document Title: 
Labor Department Issues Final Rule to Improve Investor Disclosures in Retirement Plans
Document Desc: 
On October 20, 2010, the Labor Department issued a final regulation under ERISA, requiring the disclosure of certain retirement plan and investment-related information, including fee and expense information, to investors in participant-driven individual retirement accounts (e.g. 401(k) plans). This regulation is intended to ensure that all participants and beneficiaries in these plans have the information they need to make informed decisions about the management of their individual accounts and the investment of their retirement savings.
Document Title: 
Labor Department Issues Interim Final Rule on Service Provider Issues
Document Desc: 
On July 16, 2010, the Department of Labor issued an interim final regulation under ERISA, requiring that certain service providers to retirement plans disclose more information to plan fiduciaries about their compensation arrangements, relationships to other service providers, and potential conflicts of interest.
Document Title: 
SEC Announcement on Joint Retirement Plan Agreement
Document Desc: 
On July 29, 2008, the SEC announced a joint information-sharing and cooperation agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to help protect the interests of investors in private sector retirement plans.
Document Title: 
SEC and Labor Department Retirement Plan Agreement
Document Desc: 
On July 29, 2008, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao announced an information-sharing and cooperation agreement to help protect the interests of investors in private sector retirement plans.
Document Title: 
Labor Department Rule Regarding Disclosures to Retirement Plan Participants
Document Desc: 
On July 23, 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to improve the disclosures to individual investors about each retirement plan and its investment alternatives, so that plan participants can have the information they need to make informed decisions about the management of their retirement savings.
Document Title: 
Labor Department Rule on Service Provider Disclosures
Document Desc: 
On December 13, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to require that contracts between employee benefit plans and service providers contain provisions to enhance disclosure of compensation and potential conflicts of interest.
Upload Document: 
Document Title: 
Final Labor Department Annual Reporting and Disclosure Regulations
Document Desc: 
On November 16, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule to increase the disclosures that benefit plans (including 401(k) retirement plans) provide in their annual reports to the government.
Document Title: 
Labor Department Rule Regarding the Availability of Pension Plan Information
Document Desc: 
On September 14, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to require the administrator of a multi-employer plan to provide actuarial and financial information to participants upon request.
Upload Document: 
Document Title: 
Labor Department Requests Comments on Investment Disclosures in Employee Benefit Plans
Document Desc: 
On April 25, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Request for Information regarding whether actions should be taken to ensure that individuals in participant-directed account plans (e.g. 401(k) plans) have adequate information to make informed decisions about their investments.
Upload Document: 
Document Title: 
Proposed Labor Department Annual Reporting and Disclosure Regulations
Document Desc: 
On July 21, 2006, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule to increase the disclosures that benefit plans (including 401(k) retirement plans) provide in their annual reports to the government.