Disclosures for Individual Brokerage Accounts


Posted on September 24, 2012, by Fred Reish in 404a-5, 408(b)(2), Broker-Dealers, DOL Activity. Comments Off on Disclosures for Individual Brokerage Accounts

In DOL Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2012-02R, the Department of Labor explained the disclosures for individual brokerage accounts in participant-directed plans. I am concerned that many broker-dealers have not focused on these new “requirements.” That is true for several reasons, including:

  • So much money and energy have been devoted to complying with the plan disclosure requirements, that is, the 408(b)(2) disclosures.
  • The 404a-5, or participant, disclosure requirements are imposed on plan sponsors, in their fiduciary capacity. Stating this slightly differently, the participant disclosures for brokerage accounts are not imposed on broker-dealers, but instead are placed on the shoulders of the plan sponsors. Since it is not a legal responsibility for broker-dealers, it has not received the same attention as the 408(b)(2) disclosures. However, as a practical matter, plan sponsors will turn to the broker-dealers and insist that they satisfy those disclosure requirements. That seems like a reasonable position, since the information is in the control of the broker-dealers.

The FAB provides detailed information about the requirements. To name a few, there is a requirement for a written description of the brokerage account; there must also be an explanation of any fees and expenses that are likely to be incurred in the brokerage account; and, participants must be provided with statements, at least quarterly, describing the fees and charges, both as dollar amounts and in a narrative form.

My sense is that few broker-dealers are prepared to offer assistance at that level of detail. However, I expect that will change now that the work on the 408(b)(2) disclosures is behind us.







Recent Insights

Inside the Beltway — April 25, 2017

Please join us for our 20th Inside the Beltway presentation on April 25, 2017. This is the next session in our ongoing series of...

Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #41

While We Wait: The Current Fiduciary Rule and Annuities

This is my 41st article about interesting observations concerning the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and...

DOL Issues Temporary Enforcement Relief for Fiduciary Rule Non-Compliance

The DOL has published Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-1, which provides some limited temporary relief while the industry waits to find out if the Fiduciary...