The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) released a proposed rule that, if finalized, will provide an additional “safe harbor” for plan administrators to use electronic media to furnish retirement plan information to participants and beneficiaries. The proposed rule would allow for such disclosures via an internet posting for plan participants and beneficiaries with valid electronic addresses. However, participants and beneficiaries would to be able to request paper disclosures and entirely opt out of electronic delivery.
The proposed safe harbor does not apply to employee welfare benefit plans, such as disability or group health plans. The DoL intends to study the application of this new safe harbor to disclosures required for such plans. The proposed rule states that commenters should feel free to respond to the 21 questions contained in the proposed rule for both retirement and welfare benefit plans.
For more perspective, read this Milliman Client Action Bulletin.