Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: Department of Labor Releases Cybersecurity Guidance
Recent cyberattacks have gotten a lot of attention. Some of these hacks have created turmoil through a broad swath of the business community. But another widespread menace threatens our financial security. In fact, even as you read this, the global threat of cybercrime continues around the clock as criminals try to steal retirement plan assets.
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL Releases Additional Prohibited Transaction Exemption Guidance
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued two pieces of guidance on its new fiduciary advice prohibited transaction exemption, PTE 2020-02. The first piece is titled, “Choosing the Right Person to Give You Investment Advice: Information for Investors in Retirement Plans and Individual Retirement Accounts,” which is intended to educate retirement savers about considerations when choosing a potential advisor. The second piece of guidance, which is briefly highlighted further below, is titled, “New Fiduciary Advice Exemption: PTE 2020-02 Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees,” and is a detailed set of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL Releases Cybersecurity Guidance for Plan Sponsors, Fiduciaries, Service Providers, and Participants
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today released a three-part guidance package on cybersecurity for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, service providers, and participants. This guidance comes on the heels of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on cybersecurity risks for retirement plans released earlier this year. An EBSA news release accompanies the guidance release.
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL Issues Additional COBRA Premium Assistance Guidance Under ARPA
In response to the requirements under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to provide model notices and additional guidance in relation to COBRA premium assistance, the Department of Labor has issued model notices and frequently asked questions (FAQs). The FAQs confirm the following.
Industry & Regulatory NewsMarty Walsh Confirmed as Secretary of Labor
Former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was confirmed on Monday as Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL). In a 68-29 vote, the Senate confirmed Walsh to take over the DOL as the coronavirus pandemic has left millions unemployed amid economic uncertainty.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: American Rescue Plan Act Provides Coronavirus Relief
President Biden has signed legislation that funds another round of assistance as the nation copes with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Several previous bills in 2020 provided direct cash benefits to Americans, created a small business lending program to help employers retain employees, and provided enhanced access to tax-favored retirement savings.
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL Announces Non-Enforcement of ESG and Proxy Rules
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a statement that it will not enforce two final rules that were issued late in 2020. One rule, “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments,” was published November 13, 2020, and effective January 12, 2021. This rule codified requirements for fiduciaries to consider regarding the promotion of nonfinancial objectives when selecting plan investments, generally requiring investment selection to be predicated on financial or "pecuniary" factors.
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL Delays Effective Date for Independent Contractor Final Regulations
Consistent with a directive by President Biden in a January 20, 2021-issued memorandum entitled, “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has finalized its proposal to delay until May 7, 2021, the effective date of final regulations on independent contractor status. The regulations were published January 7, 2021, in the Federal Register. Their intended purpose as described by the DOL was to clarify distinctions between employee and independent contractor status in employment situations.
Industry & Regulatory NewsGuidance Issued for Group Health Plans Regarding Coverage of COVID-19 Services
The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury (the Departments) have issued "FAQs About Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Implementation Part 44" (the FAQs).
Industry & Regulatory NewsCOVID-19 Relief for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Continued for Limited Time
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 providing guidance on the duration of COVID-19-related relief previously provided by Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 and the Notice of Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak (Joint Notice) issued in 2020 by the DOL, Treasury Department, and the IRS (collectively the "Notices").