Pension & Benefits News EBSA semiannual regulatory agenda addresses rules on retirement plan disclosures, fiduciaries
Thursday, July 30, 2020

EBSA semiannual regulatory agenda addresses rules on retirement plan disclosures, fiduciaries

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released its regulatory agenda for Spring 2020, which outlines regulations that have been selected for review or development during the next year.

Proposed rule stage. Among the items in EBSA’s proposed rule stage are:

  • Regulations that amend the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA Sec. 3(21)(A)(ii) in light of the 2018 Fifth Circuit decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Department of Labor vacating in toto the 2016 fiduciary conflict of interest rules, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), the Principal Transaction Exemption, and revised PTE 84-24.
  • Regulations regarding grandfathered group health plans and grandfathered group health insurance coverage under section 1251 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  • A deregulatory action that would modernize fiduciary practices related to the voting rights associated with ERISA plan investments and harmonize those regulations with the requirements of other regulators. The goal of this proposal would be to protect the interests of participants and beneficiaries by: (1) addressing practices that could present conflicts of interest associated with proxy advisory firm recommendations; (2) ensuring that proxy voting decisions are based on best information; and (3) ensuring that proxy voting decisions are solely in the interest of, and for the exclusive purpose of providing plan benefits to, participants and beneficiaries.
  • A rulemaking action would implement the ERISA amendments in section 101 of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), which includes a pooled employer plan as a type of single-employer pension benefit plan.
  • A deregulatory action would supersede and replace the Department of Labor’s prior Interpretive Bulletins on the application of the fiduciary rules in ERISA to pension plan investments selected because they may further collateral economic or social benefits in addition to their investment returns.

Final rule stage. The items in EBSA’s final rule stage are:

  • Regulations would implement the ERISA amendments in Section 203 of the SECURE Act to add a lifetime income illustration to pension benefit statements furnished to participants in certain defined contribution plans.
  • The adoption of an amended and restated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction (VFC) Program that will expand the scope of some transactions currently eligible for correction and streamline correction procedures for certain other transactions.
  • A final rule would implement portions of Executive Order 13877 (“Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First”, June 24, 2019), which provides that the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, the Treasury, and Labor will facilitate access to information about expected health care costs for patients before they receive care.

Source: The Unified Agenda for Spring 2020

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