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Key Takeaways & Insights

On May 21, 2020, the Department of Labor published voluntary safe harbor protections for the electronic delivery of required participant disclosures. This new guidance, effective July 27, 2020, is an opportunity for plan sponsors to reduce costs and improve access to important plan information.

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Overview of Voluntary Safe Harbor Protections

Plan sponsors, who so choose, can deliver legal notices and disclosures to participants via email or the “notice and access method” (posting on intranet site) if they meet specific guidelines, including:

  • Provide participants with an initial paper notice that explains the electronic delivery of plan information, their right to request paper copies, and other content requirements.
  • Send participants an electronic notice of internet availability (NOIA) for each disclosure posted on their intranet site. The notice must contain a brief description of the document(s), instructions on how to access the information on the website, and the right to opt out. Note: Under certain conditions, some disclosures can be combined into a single annual NOIA notice.
  • Keep disclosures on the website for at least one year or until replaced with a more current version.
  • Ensure the electronic delivery system will track invalid and undeliverable electronic addresses so paper copies can be sent to these participants.

Key Action to Take Before July 27

Connect with your recordkeeper and service providers to determine if any changes are needed to your current disclosure delivery process to comply with the safe harbor rules.

For more information, view this fact sheet from the American Benefits Council.

Questions?

Contact your Cerity Partners Retirement Plan Services team.


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