EBSA semiannual regulatory agenda addresses rules on brokerage windows, lifetime income, target date plans, abandoned plans

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released its semiannual regulatory agenda for Fall 2013, which outlines regulations that have been selected for review or development during the next year.

Prerule stage

Listed in the pre-rule stage, EBSA will undertake a review of the use of brokerage windows in participant-directed individual account retirement plans covered by ERISA.

Proposed rule stage

Among the items in EBSA’s proposed rule stage are:

• An amendment to the regulatory definition of the term “fiduciary” to more broadly define as employee benefit plan fiduciaries persons who render investment advice to plans.

• An amendment to the ERISA Sec. 408(b)(2) disclosure provisions so that covered service providers may be required to furnish a guide or similar tool along with such disclosures.

• Proposed amendments to the annuity selection safe harbor regulations focused on the condition in the safe harbor relating to the ability of the annuity provider to make all future payments under the annuity contract.

• An initiative under which the DOL will explore whether, and how, an individual benefit statement should and could present a participant’s accrued benefits in a defined contribution plan (i.e., the individual’s account balance) as a lifetime income stream of payments in addition to presenting the benefits as an account balance.

Final rule stage

Among the items in EBSA’s final rule stage are:

• Rulemaking that, among other things, would enhance the information that must be disclosed concerning target date, or similar age-based, qualified default investment alternatives.

• A final rule, implementing the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA; P.L. 109-280), requiring the administrator of a defined benefit pension plan to provide participants, beneficiaries, and other parties with an annual funding notice.

• Rulemaking that would examine whether, and how, to amend the “abandoned plan” regulations by expanding the scope of individuals entitled to be a “qualified termination administrator” (QTA).

Source: The EBSA Agenda for Fall 2013.

For more information on this and related topics, consult the CCH Pension Plan Guide, CCH Employee Benefits Management, and Spencer’s Benefits Reports.

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