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Legislation Permitting E-Delivery of Plan Information Introduced

Bipartisan legislation that would allow for electronic delivery of pension and retirement plan information was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Dec 11.

Introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), along with 26 cosponsors, the “Receiving Electronic Statements to Improve Retiree Earnings (RETIRE) Act” (H.R. 4610) would permit retirement plan sponsors to automatically enroll participants in electronic delivery for plan communications, while providing an opt-out option for employees who still prefer to receive paper documents.

The American Retirement Association strongly supports the legislation. “We welcome and commend the introduction of the bipartisan ‘Receiving Electronic Statements to Improve Retiree Earnings Act’ by congressmen Roe and Polis,” said ARA CEO Brian Graff. “Designing financial information in light of advancements in behavioral science with interactive electronic delivery will significantly reduce plan costs, helping both plan sponsors and participants. We will be working hard in 2018 to try and get this issue finally addressed!”

In introducing H.R. 4610, Polis and Roe explained that under current law, employers are required to incur significant costs mailing paper documents like notices, disclosures and statements to retirees.

“The RETIRE Act makes planning one-click away by giving employees online access to their retirement information,” said Polis. “Not only does it make retirement information more accessible, but it helps the environment and reduces costs by cutting back on wasted paper.”

Roe further noted that, “By encouraging savers to receive their retirement plan information online, this commonsense bill will lower administrative costs, provide more timely access to plan information and allow greater interaction with and personalization of retirement savings.”

The bill was referred to two House committees: Education and the Workforce and Ways & Means.