The DOL issued a final rule that delays the deadline for participant and service provider fee disclosures.

As background, the participant fee disclosure regulations apply for plan years beginning on or after November 1, 2011. The regulations include a "60-day transition rule" under which plan administrators can provide initial annual notices to participants no later than 60 days after the first plan year beginning on or after November 1, 2011.

The final rule modifies the 60-day transition rule by providing that the initial annual notices must be distributed to participants by the later of: (1) May 31, 2012; or (2) 60 days after the first day of the first plan year starting on or after November 1, 2011. Thus, a calendar-year plan must distribute the initial annual notice by May 31, 2012.

The final rule also expands the 60-day transition rule to the initial quarterly notices. Now, the initial quarterly notices must be distributed to participants within 45 days after the end of the quarter in which the initial annual notices were required. Thus, a calendar-year plan must provide the initial quarterly notice by August 14, 2012.  

Finally, under the regulations, service providers are required to provide plans with information about the service provider's direct and indirect compensation. Under the final rule, service providers are not required to provide this information until April 1, 2012.