Trump White House asks DOL to explore e-delivery of 401(k) disclosure materials

President Donald Trump’s Executive Order, which he signed last Friday, contains a provision that requires the Department of Labor to prepare an analysis of allowing the electronic delivery of participant disclosures. It reads:

“(c)  Improving the Effectiveness of and Reducing the Cost of Furnishing Required Notices and Disclosures.  Within 1 year of the date of this order, the Secretary of Labor shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, complete a review of actions that could be taken through regulation or guidance, or both, to make retirement plan disclosures required under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 more understandable and useful for participants and beneficiaries, while also reducing the costs and burdens they impose on employers and other plan fiduciaries responsible for their production and distribution.  This review shall include an exploration of the potential for broader use of electronic delivery as a way to improve the effectiveness of disclosures and to reduce their associated costs and burdens.  If the Secretary of Labor finds that action should be taken, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, consider proposing appropriate regulations or guidance, consistent with applicable law and the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.”

George Michael Gerstein advises financial institutions on the fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. As co-chair of the fiduciary governance group, he assists clients with tracking, and understanding, the numerous fiduciary developments at the federal and state levels, including the rules and regulations of governmental plans. He also advises clients with respect to the fiduciary duty implications of ESG investing.