EBSA Proposes Extension Date for its Investment Advice Regulations

Pursuant to the January 20, 2009 memo by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel directing all federal agency heads to consider extending the effective dates of regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but had not yet taken effect, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued a notice. The notice proposes an extension of the effective and applicability dates of final regulations on investment advice provided to participants and beneficiaries of 401(k) plans and IRAs. The regulations, which apply to transactions occurring on or after March 23, 2009, would be extended 60 days until May 22, 2009.

These regulations – which govern the provision of investment advice by a fiduciary adviser to participants and beneficiaries of participant-directed individual account plans and to beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts – were first published in the January 21, 2009 edition of the Federal Register. The proposed extension would allow the EBSA to evaluate comments on questions of law and policy regarding the regulations. To that end, the EBSA is seeking comments on the rules themselves and on the merits of rescinding, modifying or retaining the regulations.

Comments on the proposal to extend the effective and applicability dates must be submitted to the EBSA by February 18, 2009. Comments on the provisions themselves should be submitted on or before March 6, 2009 to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Investment Advice Final Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210. Comments may also be submitted electronically by email to e-ORI@dol.gov (enter into subject line: Investment Advice Final Rule) or via the agency’s website at http://www.regulations.gov.  Please contact Susan Hoffman of Littler’s Philadelphia Office if you have any questions or seek further information about these regulations.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.