Rumor has it that the DOL is about the finalize 408(b)(2), but because of the delay in putting forth a final rule may push back the rule's effective date to later in 2012. Does anyone have any insight into where this stands?
We have heard as recently as yesterday that it will not be extended, but nothing is for sure on paper.
Think of it this way though, you are better to go ahead and comply early. If you're ready early, what is wrong with that? But if you aren't and wait until the last minute, you're going to have a lot to do at the last minute. Sure, it isn't finalized, but a modification here and there is much easier than trying to do it all at once.
The date is irrelevant. Mike is right your plan needs to be compliant now. For those who continue to keep their head buried in the sand, I say good luck you are going to need it. The cat is out of the bag people are going to see that in many cases what they have been told for years is in fact not true and they will be looking to hold someone accountable. Be proactive you still have a little time. If you are not sure of what to do or how to approach it, hire an INDEPENDENT QUALIFIED group to help you.
As a follow-up to this question, I wanted to mention that the DOL has in fact pushed back the implementation of 408(b)(2) from April 1 to July 1, 2012. This three-month extension of the final implementation of the new 408(b)(2) rules was announced early this month. The DOL granted the extension in order to allow service providers more time to prepare. In a press release, the DOL also reminded service providers that those not in compliance with the new rules by July 1 would be violating ERISA’s prohibited transaction rules and subject to possible penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.
The change will also impact when plan sponsors need to furnish disclosures to plan participants. The DOL has offered the following guidance for plan sponsors:
“Plan administrators are reminded that the final rule's new July 1 effective date also will impact when disclosures must first be furnished under EBSA's participant-level disclosure regulation (29 CFR § 2550.404a-5). The transitional rule for the participant-level disclosure regulation was revised in July 2011 so that the first disclosures would follow the effective date of the 408(b)(2) regulation. Consequently, for calendar year plans, the initial annual disclosure of "plan-level" and "investment-level" information (including associated fees and expenses) must be furnished no later than August 30, 2012 (i.e., 60 days after the 408(b)(2) regulation's July 1 effective date). The first quarterly statement must then be furnished no later than November 14, 2012 (i.e., 45 days after the end of the third quarter (July through September), during which initial disclosures were first required). This quarterly statement need only reflect the fees and expenses actually deducted from the participant or beneficiary's account during the July through September quarter to which the statement relates.” For more information, you can see the DOL’s fact sheet on 408(b)(2) disclosure rules: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fs408b2finalreg.html.