Labor publishes rules for retirement accounts

Aug 22, 2008 @ 10:03 am

By Andrew Coen

The Department of Labor has announced final publication of two proposed rules designed to enhance access to financial advisers by defined contribution participants and individual retirement account holders.

The proposed rules would clarify advice requirements included in the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

These include the certification of computer models used by advisers when working with participants.

They would also include a non-mandatory model form that advisers may use to satisfy the exemption fee disclosure requirements and would also allow service providers to offer advice as part of a bundled offering to plan sponsors.

The Labor Department is also proposing a class exemption that permits advisers to provide individualized advice to a worker after giving advice generated by use of a computer model.

Advisers will also need to justify their selection of funds and maintain records of their decisions, Bradford P. Campbell, assistant secretary of labor for the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, said during a conference call yesterday.The proposed regulations are expected to boost participant access to advice services to 60%, from 20%, and provide a $10 billion net benefit annually to workers as a result of better investment platforms and fewer fees, he said.

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