The GAO is examining whether defined contribution retirement plans should remain exempt from securities rules.
The General Accounting Office also is considering whether participants should receive prospectuses for the underlying investments in their retirement plans. A 1992 SEC study recommended the changes to securities laws, but no action was taken. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, asked the GAO to report its findings and recommendations by late June.
Tom McCool, managing director of financial markets and community investment and head of the investigation, said the GAO will consider whether the SEC should be more involved in supervising defined contribution plans under current law or if Congress needs to give the securities regulator more authority.