"Does DOL Have Obstructed Views for Brokerage Windows? Guidance May Reinvent Time and Cause Pane Pain"

The Department of Labor ("DOL") issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2012-02 ("FAB 2012-02") on May 7, 2012, with reference to the final regulations issued under Section 404(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended applicable to 401(k)-type participant directed plans.

This Stroock Special Bulletin discusses two specific points raised by the FAB, which will impact plan sponsors and service providers to such plans.  Significantly, not only does FAB 2012-02 contain surprises that could pose commercial challenges for plan sponsors, it also appears to circumvent the rulemaking process by effectively amending a regulation through an administrative bulletin.