Department of Labor Unveils Novel Safe Harbor for E-Delivery


As numerous Americans continue to work remotely during the start of the summer, the Labor Department has introduced a brand new safe harbor for electronic disclosures. The final rule initiated is congruent to the rule propositioned in the fall; however, it encompasses a few amendments in reaction to constructive comments received on the former process.

According to the Assistant Secretary of Labor Preston Rutledge, under the new rule, employers are permitted to better utilize modern technology to make their duties more efficient, diminish plan expenses to the advantage of plan participants and let them transmit vital information to plan participants where traditional methods fail. Effective 60 days after the May 21 unveiling in the Federal Register, the DOL continues to request, as a circumstance of reliance on the safe harbor, that a plan administrator have an electronic address that allows electronic interaction with a covered person. The rule addresses a plethora of methods to help plan sponsors comply with these conditions. Naturally, the establishment can offer plan participants an electronic address attributable to their employment, but the obligation can also be met if a staff member offers a personal electronic address to the plan sponsor or plan administrator.

What’s more, a plan administrator or service provider can request an electronic address in plan enrollment paper work or to secure plan participant’s virtual access to account information and plan documents. Nonetheless, to match the rule’s characterization of a covered person, the electronic address allocated by an employer for a worker must be given for an employment-related reason other than the distribution of covered documents under the novel safe harbor. To learn more about the ruling, read the Employee Benefit Security Administration document.

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