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We issue this Alert to provide an update on recent Department of Labor (“DOL”) guidance impacting our prior Alert regarding the annual participant fee disclosure notice (“Annual Notice”) due for 2013.

On July 22, 2013, the DOL issued a Bulletin that clarified the “at least annually thereafter” requirement applicable to the 2013 Annual Notice.  The Bulletin clarifies that plan administrators may furnish the 2013 Annual Notice no later than 18 months after the initial Annual Notice was furnished in 2012.

As retirement plan sponsors, you are required to send these notices each year.  The initial Annual Notice was due by August 30, 2012. According to the terms of the participant fee disclosure regulation, the 2013 Annual Notice is due “at least annually” after the initial Annual Notice was furnished to participants. For example, if you furnished the initial Annual Notice on August 25, 2012, the 2013 Annual Notice would be due no later than August 25, 2013. However, in accordance with this new DOL guidance, you have 18 months from furnishing the initial Annual Notice, until February 25, 2014 based on these facts, to provide the 2013 Annual Notice.

If you have not already furnished the Annual Notice to your participants, we recommend that you coordinate the distribution of the Annual Notice with other annually required notices typically distributed at or around calendar year end (this could include, if applicable, the Qualified Default Investment Alternative (“QDIA”), Safe Harbor, Automatic Enrollment notices and Summary Annual Report).

As always, First Western is available to discuss any questions you might have regarding this Alert.