EBSA semiannual regulatory agenda addresses rules on fiduciaries, VFC program

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released its semiannual regulatory agenda for Spring 2015, which outlines regulations that have been selected for review or development during the next year.

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 those persons who render investment advice to plans for a fee (Note: proposed regulations were issued in April 2015).
  • 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.
  • Revising and modernizing the financial and other annual reporting requirements on the Form 5500.
  • An amendment to ERISA Reg. §2550.404a-5 that would make a technical adjustment to the timing requirement for furnishing annual disclosures to participants and beneficiaries (Note: direct final and proposed regulations were issued in March 2015).

Final rule stage

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

  • 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).
  • Adoption of an amended and restated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction (VFC) Program.
  • Rulemaking would amend regulations to substitute electronic filing for regular mail or hand delivery of top hat plan statements that are an alternative method of compliance with reporting and disclosure requirements.

Source: EBSA Agenda for Spring 2015, available at www.reginfo.gov

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