On June 10, 2008, the SEC proposed rules that would require mutual funds to provide the risk/return summary section of their prospectuses to the SEC in interactive data format using XBRL — eXtensible Business Reporting Language. The interactive data would be provided as an exhibit to registration statements filed on Form N-1A, beginning with initial registration statements and annual updates that become effective after December 31, 2009.

Mutual funds also would be required to post the same risk/return summary information on their Web sites on the date the interactive date is submitted to the SEC or is required to be submitted, whichever is earlier. Other notable elements of the proposal include:

  • Viewable interactive data as displayed through software available on the SEC’s Web site, and to the extent identical in all material respects to the corresponding portion of the traditional format filing, would be subject to all the same liability provisions of the federal securities laws as the corresponding data in the traditional format filing.
  • Each interactive data submission would be required to be filed as a post-effective amendment under Rule 485(b) under the Securities Act and would be required to be filed after effectiveness of the related filing, but no later than 15 business days after the effective date of the related filing. 
  • If a mutual fund does not submit or post interactive data as required, the fund’s ability to file post-effective amendments under Rule 485(b) would be automatically suspended until the fund submits and posts the interactive data as required.

If the proposed rules are adopted, the SEC anticipates that the current voluntary filer program would be modified to exclude participation by mutual funds with respect to risk/return summary information but continue to permit mutual funds to participate with respect to financial statement information.