The DOL has issued an interim final regulation on fee disclosures for 401(k), defined contribution, and defined benefit pension plan investments. These rules apply to the financial institutions and other service providers to employee pension plans that expect to receive at least $1,000 in compensation in connection with their services and require the disclosure of information to plan fiduciaries. Service providers include certain fiduciary or registered investment advisory services, recordkeeping or brokerage services to a participant-directed individual account plan in connection with the investment options made available under the plan, and certain other service providers who receive indirect compensation. These recently issued regulations are directed at providing fiduciaries with information to assist in assessing the reasonableness of investment contracts and administrative arrangements, including the reasonableness of compensation paid to service providers as well as potential conflicts of interest that may affect the performance of service providers. Information that must be disclosed in writing to the plan fiduciary includes a description of the services to be provided and all direct and indirect compensation to be received by the service provider, its affiliates, or subcontractors. The disclosure requirements are established as part of the prohibited transaction provisions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) because if a covered service provider fails to meet the disclosure requirements, the contract or arrangement will not be “reasonable” and fees paid to that service provider will be considered a prohibited transaction. It is expected that these regulations will result in comments and discussion, particularly from the financial community. The regulations have an effective date of July 16, 2011, and will likely result in changes in the scope and form of communications made by financial institutions and other service providers to plan sponsors and their fiduciaries. Another related initiative of the DOL involves finalizing a set of proposed regulations requiring disclosures from plan fiduciaries to plan participants about fees. (DOL Interim Final Rule on Reasonable Contract or Arrangement Under Section 408(b)(2)-Fee Disclosure; DOL Reg. § 2550.408b-2(c), 75 Fed. Reg. 41600)