On July 2, 2013, the DOL released Advisory Opinion 2013-03A clarifying that revenue sharing assets not actually received by a plan are not plan assets for ERISA purposes. The subject of the Advisory Opinion, Principal Financial Services (Principal), is a recordkeeper of 401(k) and other participant-directed plans and receives payments from some plan investments in the form of Rule 12b-1 fees, shareholder or administrative service fees and similar payments. Generally, Principal (and other recordkeepers like Principal) have kept

these fees and, according to agreements with individual plans, either credited them to offset a plan's expenses or deposited them into an account maintained on behalf of the plan for use in paying plan expenses. Principal asked the DOL to clarify whether these funds were plan assets for ERISA purposes, thus triggering ERISA's trust requirement and prohibited transaction restrictions.