For Your Benefit

DOL extends dates on retirement plan fee disclosure rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final regulation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to extend and align the applicability dates for its retirement plan fee disclosure rules. The DOL published an interim final regulation in July requiring covered service providers of retirement plans to disclose comprehensive information about their fees and potential conflicts of interest to ERISA-covered plan fiduciaries. The regulation with respect to plan contracts or arrangements for services in existence on or after July 16 now becomes effective April 1, 2012.

Health care reform law moves one step closer to Supreme Court

The Obama administration surprised many recently when the U.S. Department of Justice asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal of a decision by the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that the health insurance mandate provision found in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the comprehensive health care reform legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, is unconstitutional.

Since the legal challenges to the PPACA began, many analysts have speculated that the U.S. Supreme Court may eventually have to decide the issue. This appears to be an even more likely scenario now that the circuits are split on the issue, one federal appeals court has struck down the law, and all sides of the issue want the Supreme Court to review the legal challenges. In fact, the Supreme Court may be more inclined to hear one or more of the cases challenging the PPACA in its 2011-2012 term. This means the Court could issue a decision regarding the massive health care reform law by the end of June 2012.