After several years and much discussion and comment, the SEC has created a new disclosure framework for mutual fund prospectuses, meant to provide investors with information that is easier to use and understand. The new framework requires a summary section at the front of all statutory prospectuses and allows a new way to satisfy prospectus delivery obligations by delivery of a Summary Prospectus. Under changes to Form N-1A, all statutory prospectuses will now be required to disclose, in a summary section at the front of the prospectus, in plain English, the following information: (1) the investment objectives, (2) costs, (3) the principal investment strategies, risks, and performance, (4) the investment advisers and portfolio managers, (5) brief purchase and sale and tax information, and (6) financial intermediary compensation. Multiple fund prospectuses must present the summary information for each fund separately. Summary Prospectuses are to be composed of the same information in the same order.
Delivery of a Summary Prospectus will satisfy the prospectus requirements of Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act by complying with amended Rule 498 of the Securities Act. To comply, the Summary Prospectus must be sent or delivered “no later than the time of the carrying or delivery of the fund security,” it must not be bound to any other materials, and the statutory prospectus and other information must be provided on the Internet and, if requested by the investor, in paper form. The effective date of the amendments to Form N-1A is March 31, 2009, with a compliance date of January 1, 2010 for all initial registrations, post-effective amendments that are annual updates to effective registration statements, and post-effective amendments that add a new series. The final compliance date for filing amendments to effective registration statements is January 1, 2011.