On March 2nd, the Department of Labor ("DOL") issued new proposed regulations implementing statutory provisions that provide an exemption to ERISA's prohibited transaction rules for certain types of investment advice provided to participants in 401(k) plans. The statutory provisions require investment advice to be provided pursuant to (1) a "level fee" approach, in which the adviser's fees do not vary based on the investment option selected; or (2) the "computer model" approach, in which advice is provided pursuant to a computer model that meets certain requirements. The new regulations replace, and narrow the scope of, regulations published in January 2009, but never finalized. The new regulations appear to impose more restrictive requirements on both approaches. In addition, the DOL withdrew a separate administrative exemption that it had issued, allowing advice arrangements that did not meet the level fee or computer model approach if certain other conditions were met. The DOL believed that the separate exemption did not contain sufficient protections against conflicts of interest. Comments on the regulations are due no later than May 5, 2010. Proposed Regulations. Fact Sheet.