On March 12, 2014, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a proposed amendment to its service provider fee disclosure regulations under section 408(b)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”). For those of you keeping track, the DOL issued “Interim Final” 408(b)(2) regulations in 2010. Then, in 2012, it issued “Final” 408(b)(2) regulations which many industry professionals jokingly referred to as the “Final, Final” version of the regulations. However, the 2012 Final, Final 408(b)(2) regulations included a section that was blank and reserved for future rulemaking entitled “Guide to initial disclosures”. The recently proposed amendment is intended to complete this previously reserved section of the Final, Final 408(b)(2) regulations. Which forces me to wonder if we are now presented with an amendment that will ultimately result in the creation of the “Final, Final, Final” 408(b)(2) fee disclosure regulations. All kidding aside, the remainder of this article summarizes the newly proposed amendment and raises several areas of concern that will hopefully be addressed during the process of finalizing the proposed amendment.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) puts labels on people. As impolite as that may be in our “politically correct” society, it is indisputable and Congress and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) have gone to great lengths to ensure that result through a multitude of statutes and regulations.