Under Department of Labor Regulations, plan administrators of individual account plans such as 401(k) plans and most 403(b) plans must provide all participants who are eligible to direct investments in the plan with certain investment and fee information (see http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fsparticipantfeerule.html for more information). The plan administrator is the employer sponsoring the plan unless the employer has designated another plan administrator. For calendar year plans, the first annual disclosure is due by August 30, 2012 and the first quarterly disclosure is due by November 14, 2012.
Historically, most employer-plan administrators have not had easy access to all of the information that must be disclosed to participants pursuant to these regulations. However, under separate regulations, plan service providers are required to provide to plan administrators – by July 1, 2012 – the information necessary for the initial annual participant disclosures.
Many record keepers have been busy compiling the information provided by service providers to their plan clients so that they can assist plan administrators in preparing the participant disclosures in the form required by the regulations.
Plan administrators should contact their record keepers now regarding these disclosures to confirm that they will be providing assistance in preparing the participant disclosures. Even after this information is compiled by the record keepers, plan administrators will need to review the information to ensure that it is correct and in compliance with the regulations.
For more information regarding these and other disclosures, please see our recent article Employee Benefits Plans Alert: Compliance Deadlines Loom for Fee and Other Disclosures.