The Department of Labor released its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. Officials representing seven of the U.S. Department of Labor’s agencies began last week to host a series of live Web chats to discuss their respective regulatory agendas for the next 6 to 12 month. Employee Benefits Security Administration, EBSA discusses its regulatory agenda with participants at the event.
Phyllis Borzi, Assistant Secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration said, “EBSA regulatory agenda aims at assuring retirement security and protecting participants’ rights”.
EBSA Regulatory Agenda includes:
- Electronic Disclosure by Employee Benefit Plans
- Pension Benefit Statements
- Improved Fee Disclosure for Welfare Plans
- Amendment to Claims Procedure Regulation
- Amendment of Abandoned Plan Program
- Ex Parte Cease and Desist and Summary Seizure Orders Under ERISA Section 521
- Improved Fee Disclosure for Pension Plans
- Annual Funding Notice
- Definition of “Fiduciary”
- Statutory Exemption for Provision of Investment Advice
- Target Date Disclosure
- Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures
- Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
- Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers Relating to Dependent Coverage of Children to Age 26 Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Coverage Relating to Status as a Grandfathered Health Plan Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Lifetime and Annual Limits, Rescissions and Patient Protections Under the Affordable Care Act
- Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers Relating to Coverage of Preventive Services Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers Relating to Internal and External Appeals Processes Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- Automatic Enrollment in Health Plans of Employees of Large Employers Under FLSA Section 18A
- Lifetime Income Options for Participants and Beneficiaries in Retirement Plans
Speaking on fiduciaryfinal rule, Phyllis Borzi said, “Our goal is to publish a final rule later this year. However, our current approach to finalizing the fiduciary regulation consists of multiple steps.
First, we are working to better understand how specific compensation arrangements would be affected by the proposed rule and whether clarifications of existing prohibited transactions exemptions would be appropriate. We have already begun to issue sub regulatory guidance describing some of these clarifications and will continue to do so as necessary as we complete our analysis.
Next, we are working to finalize the regulation itself. We are paying special attention to the two primary exceptions to fiduciary status under the proposed rule: (1) clarifying the difference between investment education that does not give rise to fiduciary status and fiduciary investment advice; and (2) clarifying the scope of the so-called “sellers’ exemption” under which sales activity is not fiduciary advice. In both cases, we will be directly addressing the comments and concerns that were raised during our extensive public comment period.
Finally, simultaneously with the issuance of the final fiduciary regulation, we intend to propose one or more new prohibited transaction class exemptions and/or modifications to existing ones that may be useful to the regulated community so as to not unnecessarily disrupt existing compensation practices or business models, where we can make the requisite finding that the continuation of these activities is sufficiently protective of plan participants or IRA customers.
We are also considering an extended applicability date for compliance with the final regulation, particularly with respect to IRAs, so as to enable us to take public comments on the proposed exemptions and finalize them well before the compliance date, thus giving the regulated community sufficient time to adapt to these new rules”.
EBSA’s regulatory and enforcement responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act – ERISA – extend to almost 718,000 private pension plans, approximately 2.6 million employer-sponsored health plans and a similar number of other welfare plans. The plans together hold more than $6 trillion in ERISA assets. EBSA is committed to protecting the interest of the millions of America’s workers who are dependent on ERISA-covered plans for their economic well-being – whether for retirement, health care or other benefits.
A full excerpt of the live webcast is available at this site.
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