A letter penned by Los Angeles partners Fred Reish and Bruce Ashton, and Washington, D.C., counsel Brad Campbell, to EBSA head Phyllis Borzi was discussed in Advisor One, Investment News, PLANADVISER, RIABiz, PLANSPONSOR, Fiduciary News and Benefits Pro.

The team wrote to the head of the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) to urge the creation of a "corrections program" for service providers complying with DOL's fee disclosure rules under 408(b)(2). The proposed program would soften the blow for broker-dealers and other retirement plan service providers who may have made mistakes when spelling out their fees and services to plan sponsors.

They said that even "well-intentioned service providers can easily make compliance mistakes, and some service providers likely have failed to make the required disclosures on time."

Their proposal, they contend, would not let 'bad actors' evade punishment-rather it would provide a streamlined process with reduced penalties by which service providers could come into compliance."

Brad explained to Investment News that the idea came about after a review of the fee disclosures a number of plan sponsor clients received this summer.

“We found a mixed bag: Some disclosures were well-done and some were obviously deficient,” he said. “It convinced us that there are many service providers who have committed a host of technical violations and have no way to correct it. Having a wave of prohibited transactions isn't the best way to deal with it.”

He added that that with 1 million service providers and 750,000 plans affected by fee disclosure, the proposal also would lighten the enforcement load for the DOL and allow it to dedicate its resources to chasing scofflaws.

The correction program is modeled on successful programs DOL and IRS offer for other violations.

To read the Advisor One article, click here.

To read the Investment News article, click here.

To read the PLANADVISER article, click here.

To read the RIABiz article, click here.

To read the PLANSPONSOR article, click here.

To read the Fiduciary News mention, click here.

To read the Benefits Pro article, click here.