EBSA Issues Interim Final Rule on Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure of Fees for 401(k) and Retirement Plans
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On July 15, 2010, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (”EBSA”) of the U.S. Department of Labor announced an interim final rule governing disclosure of conflicts of interest and fees to 401(k) and retirement plan fiduciaries. The rule will assist fiduciaries in determining both the reasonableness of compensation paid to plan service providers and any conflicts of interest that may impact a service provider’s performance under a service contract or arrangement.
The interim final rule implements ERISA, Section 408(b)(2) and requires disclosure of direct and indirect compensation received by 401(k) and pension plan service providers receiving or expecting to receive $1,000 or more for fiduciary and investment services. The interim final rule applies to service providers receiving such compensation in connection with investment advisory services for specified 401(k) and pension plans, brokerage or recordkeeping services related to such plans, and indirect compensation received in providing other related services. Additionally, the interim final rules include a class exemption from ERISA’s prohibited transaction provisions for plan fiduciaries entering into service contracts without knowledge of non-compliance by service providers.
The interim final rule is a result of collaboration between House and Senate legislators, who highlighted the risks of nondisclosure and offered improvements, and the Department of Labor.
The interim final rule was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2010 at 29 C.F.R. Part 2550 and the final rule will be effective within one year of publication. The Department of Labor is accepting public comments through August 30, 2010.