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Published: March 2021

Choice of retirement plan disclosure notice still important for workers and retirees

Consumer Action joined coalition members in urging the Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Department of Labor to address the severe shortcomings in the Department’s recently adopted “Notice-and-Access” rule. Until the changes last May, the default had been to deliver retirement plan disclosures on paper, sent through the mail. Under the new rule, the retirement plan merely sends an email or text message to a consumer letting them know that a disclosure is available on a website. The new rule’s default makes no provision for the sizeable proportion of individuals who still don’t have access to computers or internet service and makes it much harder for ordinary Americans to access the documents they need to plan for retirement.

Disclosures and notices sent by retirement plans to workers and retirees play a critical role in helping them plan for retirement and enforce their rights. These disclosures include: the rules by which the plan operates and the worker earns benefits; disclosures on participation and the amount of benefits earned; and disclosures that enable plan participants to watchdog the plan and ensure it is being operated to benefit them rather than the employer or the recordkeeper. Workers should be allowed to choose the way they receive their retirement plan disclosures, whether it be online or by mailed paper copy. Changing the default notification to online-only makes it harder for millions of hardworking Americans to plan properly for their retirement.

 

 

Lead Organization

The Pension Rights Center

Other Organizations

The Pension Rights Center | AARP | American Forest & Paper Association | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Domtar | EMA | Keep Me Posted | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | National Consumers League | National Employment Law Project | National Employment Lawyers Association | National Grange | National Nurses United | National Organization for Women | National Retiree Legislative Network | Public Citizen | Social Security Works | United Steelworkers

More Information

For more information, please visit Pension Rights Center.

Download PDF

Choice of retirement plan disclosure notice still important for workers and retirees   (EBSA_letter_re_NA_3-8-21_FINAL.pdf)

 

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