The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter extending relief to certain investment-related information provided to participants in non-ERISA 403(b), 457(b), and other qualified participant-directed retirement plans. This would include, for example, 403(b) plans sponsored by public school districts or church-related organizations, some private-sector 403(b) plans in which the employer has minimal involvement, 457 plans, and other non-ERISA defined contribution plans. In October 2011, the SEC had issued a no-action letter in which it agreed to treat investment information provided under ERISA’s participant-level fee disclosure requirements as complying with the requirements of Rule 482 of the Securities Act of 1933, which sets forth certain content requirements for investment-related advertising. In this most recent no-action letter, the SEC extended this relief to fee disclosures made to non-ERISA plan participants, even though the fee disclosure requirements do not apply to non-ERISA plans.
Practically speaking, this development means that non-ERISA plans that have chosen to provide, or wish to provide, the participant-level fee disclosures that are generally required for ERISA-covered defined contribution plans will not be in violation of SEC Rule 482.