Posted on November 22, 2019

New Regulation Promotes Broader Use of Modern Technology to Communicate with Customers
IRI Comment Letter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) supports a proposed U.S. Labor Department proposal to permit the use of electronic disclosures of retirement plan information as a default choice for plan participants. The proposal would allow plan administrators who satisfy specified conditions to provide participants and beneficiaries with a notice that certain disclosures will be made available on a website.

“IRI has long supported legislative and regulatory efforts to modernize and foster more efficient communications between the retirement income industry and consumers,” said Jason Berkowitz, IRI chief legal and regulatory affairs officer. “The proposal still permits consumers to choose to paper disclosures, if desired, but this effort recognizes the reality that consumers are ever more comfortable with using technology to speed communications and forgo the use of paper in favor of electronic media.”

In comments filed today with the Labor Department, IRI noted that at a time when Americans are more responsible than ever for ensuring their own financial security in retirement, the current system of default paper delivery works against the goal of helping Americans make decisions about their retirement planning. “The density of printed disclosure documents is, for many people, intimidating, and the static nature of printed materials does not invite the kind of interactive engagement people should have to intelligently manage their retirement portfolios,” IRI wrote.

“IRI strongly supports adoption of the Proposal to allow broader use of electronic delivery to communicate important plan information to plan participants and beneficiaries, and we would welcome the opportunity to work with the Department to advance the Proposal,” Berkowitz said.

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