Earlier today, the SEC unanimously voted to approve changes to Form N-1A that will require mutual fund prospectuses to include a summary section of "key information" about the fund. The key information will include a concise description of the fund's investment objectives, costs, principal investment strategies, risks, performance, and investment advisers and portfolio managers. It also will include brief purchase and sale information, tax information, and information concerning financial intermediary compensation. Notably, in response to comments received on the proposal and the results of investor focus group testing, the Division of Investment Management recommended the elimination of two of the more controversial aspects of the original proposal, namely, the proposed top 10 portfolio holdings and quarterly updating requirements.

The SEC also unanimously voted to approve a rule that would permit (but not require) the use of a summary prospectus containing the same information as the summary section to satisfy the statutory prospectus delivery requirements of Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act. The use of a summary prospectus would be subject to certain conditions, including the availability of a statutory prospectus and other information on the Internet in an investor friendly format.

There are several key dates to note. The effective date of the amendments is February 28, 2009. On that date, mutual funds may, but are not required, to start using the new statutory prospectus and summary prospectus. The compliance date of the amendments is January 1, 2010. Filings made on or after that date must comply with the new requirements, with final compliance phased in for all mutual funds by January 1, 2011.

A copy of the SEC press release is available here: http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe2916717162027f721678&ls=fdd81277726c0c747c1c7571&m=fef61778756d01&l=fe6415747c67047b7114&s=fdee15757d66077b7c137774&jb=ffcf14&t=.

A copy of the SEC's new disclosure requirements has not yet been publicly released.