Thursday, May 28, 2009

News You Can Use: Another day, another delay

If there's one thing the government does well, it's make things take longer. The Department of Labor announced on Thursday a second extension for public comment on final regulations that would permit 401(k) and other retirement plan fiduciaries to provide more advice to plan participants under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The new deadline is Nov. 18, 2009.

Employers have long awaited better guidance on what forms of investment advice the government wants to permit, or encourage. The comment period was previously extended to allow the Obama administration sufficient time to examine the legal and policy issues present in the regulation, according to a White House memo.

On Jan. 21, 2009, DOL released a final rule administering the provision of investment advice under the ERISA's prohibited transaction provisions. Subsequently, Labor officials drew out the applicability and effective dates of the final regulation from March 23 to May 22.

No word yet on what will be accomplished during the second extension other than changing of seasons.

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