The DOL has proposed a new safe harbor for the use of electronic media to furnish information to participants and beneficiaries of ERISA plans. The proposal 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 these disclosures on paper will be able to request paper copies and to opt out of electronic delivery entirely.
This proposal related to electronic media is intended to improve the effectiveness of the disclosures. It is also intended to significantly reduce the costs and burden associated with furnishing many of the recurring and most costly ERISA disclosures. The proposal also contains a request for information that explores whether and how any additional changes to ERISA’s general disclosure framework, focusing on design, delivery, and content, may be made to further improve the effectiveness of ERISA disclosures.