Plan sponsors have been inundated with notices and disclosures which must be distributed to plan participants and beneficiaries on a periodic basis. Both the Treasury and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) understand that the ability to electronically deliver participant notices and documents can be a considerable cost savings and convenience. Each agency has its own regulations for the use of electronic delivery: participant communications required by the Treasury must follow the Treasury regulation and participant communications required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) must follow the DOL regulation.
The definition of “electronic media” includes several options, including documents provided through a company website, delivered as e-mail attachments, magnetic tape and CD-ROM. The DOL’s requirements are a bit burdensome but if met are considered a “safe harbor” in electronically delivering Title I ERISA participant communications. For more details on the Treasury and DOL requirements, please download our Guide to Electronic Delivery flyer.