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Communication requirements for participants

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#1 rbellinger


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Posted 27 February 2002 - 01:32 PM

Hi -

I have a question about communication requirements and/or practices to participants

We currently provide a packet of information on our Profit Sharing plan to all new hires and to newly eligible employees. The packet includes Fund Facts sheets on all the 17 funds we offer, a sheet showing a recent comparison of rates of return (going back 10 years), and the most recent copy of our SPD. The packet itself is contained within a large publication that gives general information about how 401(k)s work. We also provide quarterly statements to our Profit Sharing participants. On the Rates of Return sheet included in with the statements, is a note to contact HR for a current prospectus of any of the funds.

We do not provide prospectuses (prospecti?!) to new hires, nor do we distribute new ones each year. If we should change an investment election, we will provide a prospectus on the new fund to all participants. The fund fact sheets are also only provided in the new hire packets - or, again, if we change an investment election (and then we send out all the fund fact sheets on all the funds).

I can't find anything that tells me we must send out prospectuses to new hires or existing eligible staff. Nor do I see anything about sending out additional information about the funds like a fund fact sheet. Members on our committee are taking extremes in what they think is appropriate: status quo (not changing current practices) to sending prospectuses to new hires (and newly eligibles) and once a year to everyone, in addition to sending updated fund fact sheets every quarter to all participants. But, no one is sure what's required and what's simply "normal practice."

Is there something out there I'm missing regarding ERISA requirements? If not, what have you found to be the general practices in your experience? I want to make sure we provide up-to-date information to our employees - but not go overboard with the mailings.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.