DOL Pulling Back on 408(b)(2) Guide Project

The Department of Labor has removed a regulations project from its previously published DOL regulatory agenda list.

The Aug. 24, 2017 Federal Register includes a notice of modification to the Department of Labor (DOL) semi-annual regulatory agenda.

That Obama Administration rulemaking would have amended the disclosure provisions in the 408(b)(2) regulations to require covered service providers to furnish a guide or similar tool along with the disclosures. The DOL had noted that a “guide or similar requirement may assist fiduciaries, especially fiduciaries to small and medium-sized plans, in identifying and understanding the potentially complex disclosure documents that are provided to them, or if disclosures are located in multiple documents.”

However, the filing notes that withdrawal of an entry does not necessarily mean that the Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) will not proceed with the rulemaking in the future. Rather, it explains that withdrawal “allows EBSA to assess the subject matter further and determine whether rulemaking in this area is appropriate,” and that following such an assessment, “EBSA may determine that rulemaking is appropriate.” If that determination is made, this or a similar matter will be included in succeeding semiannual agenda, according to the notice.

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