With the devastating pandemic currently transpiring, it’s understandable if you have not kept up with the Labor Department’s final say on default electronic disclosure. Launched on May 21st, this rule includes new modifications in response to recommendations and constructive comments received by the DOL. Below we’ve listed a few things you should know about the new rule.
Only one paper copy must be free of charge. Per paragraph (f)(1) of the final rule, only one paper copy of any particular covered document must be free under the safe harbor. Besides that, the rule details that whether the plan charges for surplus copies of the same covered document depends on the terms of the specific plan and other applicable provisions of ERISA and regulations thereunder, and is outside the realm of the regulation.
Non-delivery of documents means opting out. If a plan administrator uncovers an inoperable or invalid electronic address, the individual must treat the covered person as if they had elected to opt out of electronic delivery under paragraph (f)(2).
No need to wait until the release date. Though the final decree will not be in effect until 60 days following its publication, the Labor Department states that, as an enforcement policy, “it will not take any enforcement action against a plan administrator that relies on this safe harbor before that date. The Department’s decision to provide this non-enforcement policy supports the Federal government’s broader effort to respond to COVID-19.”
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