On October 24th, the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration issued a new final rule implementing a prohibited transaction exemption for investment advice provided to defined contribution plan (such as 401(k) plan) participants under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") and the Internal Revenue Code. As a general rule, fiduciary investment advisers may not recommend plan investment options if the adviser receives additional fees from the investment providers. To qualify for the exemption in the new final rule, investment advice must be given through the use of a computer model that is certified as unbiased by an independent expert or through an adviser compensated on a "level-fee" basis (in other words, not compensated on the basis of the investment options selected). Other conditions also must be met, including the disclosure of the adviser's fees and an annual audit of the arrangement for compliance with the regulation. This new rule is separate from and does not affect the Labor Department's proposed rule on the definition of fiduciary investment advice, which the department recently announced it will re-propose. Labor Department Press Release.