SIFMA, trade and community groups urge quick action to pass H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement…
November 22, 2019
Employee Benefit Security Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210
Re: Electronic Disclosure, RIN 1210-AB90
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”)1 appreciates the opportunity to respond to the Department of Labor’s proposal for a new, additional safe harbor for the use of electronic media by employee benefit plans. We strongly support the Department moving forward with finalizing this proposal.
The Department is proposing a new safe harbor which would allow plan administrators who meet certain conditions to provide participants and beneficiaries with a notice that certain disclosures will be made available on a website. Individuals who prefer to receive those disclosures on paper may request paper copies and choose to opt out of electronic delivery entirely. We support the Department’s effort to further the use of electronic delivery and believe the proposal, with a few modifications, would be in the interest of participants and beneficiaries, while creating additional accessibility for them and lowering plan costs.
Electronic Delivery with Opt-In Paper Requests Strikes the Right Balance
The Department has proposed a safe harbor under which an employee retirement plan administrator can satisfy the requirement to provide various disclosures electronically, so long as such administrator meets various requirements, including specific timing of notices, the content of the notice, and the right to obtain a paper version of the documents, free of charge. Further, a participant or beneficiary can elect to receive the documents in paper for the future as well.
1 SIFMA is the leading trade association for broker-dealers, investment banks and asset managers operating in the U.S. and global capital markets. On behalf of our industry’s nearly 1 million employees, we advocate for legislation, regulation and business policy, affecting retail and institutional investors, equity and fixed income markets and related products and services. We serve as an industry coordinating body to promote fair and orderly markets, informed regulatory compliance, and efficient market operations and resiliency. We also provide a forum for industry policy and professional development. SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). For more information, visit http://www.sifma.org.