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Product ID: 406730EAU
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Electronic Disclosure under ERISA: How to Effectively Use Technology without Sacrificing Compliance

OnDemand Webinar (88 minutes)

Gain a better understanding of how to use technology while staying compliant under ERISA.The IRS and the Department of Labor allow electronic communications such as email and web-postings to satisfy ERISA disclosure requirements, which offers a cost savings for benefit plans. Most benefit plans take advantage of technology to satisfy mandatory disclosure requirements, but many administrators are not aware of the specific rules that apply to these disclosures. Benefit plans that do not follow these rules are unknowingly out of compliance. The level of risk and exposure depends on the type of disclosure violation. Many requirements carry a potential penalty of $110 per day, but penalties are not the only concern. For example, failure to provide a summary plan description could result in an inability to enforce limitations and restrictions. Under certain circumstances, this could result in claims worth many thousands of dollars. The basic rules are fairly simple and worth taking the time to learn.


Tonie Bitseff, Buchalter


General Requirements

• 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

• Second, the Posted Notice Must Meet Applicable Content and Timing Requirements, Protect Individuals' Account and Benefit Confidentiality, and Identify the Subject Matter and Its Significance

Two Types of Electronic Disclosure

• Beyond the General Requirements, There Are Two Distinct Types of Electronic Disclosures and Certain Consent Requirements Depending on the Type of Disclosure

• All Other Disclosures Require Affirmative Consent at Specific Times After Required Notices Have Been Provided

Consent Requirements

• Informed Consent Requires Advanced Detailed Notice

• Consent Must Demonstrate the Ability to Access the Electronic Medium

• Consent Becomes Invalid If Technology or Access Changes

Case Studies

• Kiosks

• Cobra Notices

• Websites