Sharon L. Lippett, Member of the Firm in the Employee Benefits practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360, in “Disclosure, Transparency Regs Headline DOL Benefits Agenda,” by Emily Brill. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s benefits division has added several items to its most recent to-do list, telling stakeholders Wednesday that it hopes to push out rules giving employers more leeway to deliver benefits information online and requiring health insurers to tell workers how much they’ll owe for treatment before they receive it.

The first rule could save employers millions by making online disclosures the default method of sharing retirement plan information. The second could benefit workers by requiring employee health plans to publicize treatment costs.

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration deemed the rules a priority Wednesday by placing them on its fall regulatory agenda, which maps out seven of the agency’s goals for the next year. …

The electronic disclosure rule has long been on employers’ wish list, and management-side benefits attorneys trumpeted its arrival.

Sharon Lippett, a member of Epstein Becker Green’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice, called the rule “long overdue and much needed” on Wednesday.

“The existing rules do not reflect the realities of participant disclosure confronting large plan sponsors,” Lippett said. ...

Lippett said Wednesday that she thinks, in practice, the rule likely wouldn’t leave certain retirees — like those without email addresses — in the dust.

“I understand that risk, but if [employers] can’t get a personal email address from a participant, they’re going to send them paper, they’re not just going to ignore them,” Lippett said. “They can only use this for people who consent, people who have a personal email.”

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.