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Electronic Disclosure Under ERISA: Using Websites and Email to Meet ERISA Disclosure Requirements

GRC Advisory Online

Apr. 23, 2019
Recorded Online

The IRS and the Department of Labor allow electronic communications such as email and web-postings to satisfy ERISA disclosure requirements, but many administrators are not aware of the specific rules that apply to these disclosures. The Department of Labor and the IRS outline general requirements for electronic disclosure. First, the fiduciary must provide access instructions and the opportunity for a paper copy on request. The posted notice must meet applicable content and timing requirements, protect individuals’ account and benefit confidentiality, and identify the subject matter and its significance.

Beyond the general requirements, there are two distinct types of electronic disclosures and certain consent requirements depending on the type of disclosure. The first type of disclosure through an electronic media that is used is integral to workplace access. Electronic disclosures through a device where there is “workplace access” at the job location through electronic media that is integral to job duties do not require affirmative consent. All other disclosures require affirmative consent at specific times after required notices have been provided.

This presentation reviews the consent requirements, discusses best practices in collecting consent, looks at specific case studies where failure to follow the regulations exposed the plan to liability and offers solutions that allow sponsors better ways to take advantage of electronic disclosures.

The IRS and the Department of Labor allow electronic communications such as email and web-postings to satisfy ERISA disclosure requirements.

Areas Covered:

  • Electronic disclosures in the workplace
  • Electronic disclosures without workplace computers
  • Electronic disclosures using email
  • Electronic disclosures using websites
  • Electronic disclosure using kiosks
  • Obtaining knowing consent to disclosure

Speaker:  Tonie L. Bitseff, Special Counsel, Corporate Law and Labor & Employment Practice Groups, Buchalter

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