(updated) The ERISA Advisory Council recommended that the Labor Department consider ways to deliver guidance on pension derisking through lump sums and annuities — without prescribing a specific process for it, such as rulemaking.
The panel, which advises the Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration, had considered recommending that the EBSA go through the formal rule-making process, but left decisions on process and timing to EBSA officials, to balance competing considerations of urgency versus opportunities for public input.
“We were very disappointed that the ERISA Advisory Council voted explicitly to remove a recommendation that the Department of Labor use the public notice and comment process to implement legal and policy changes regarding derisking,” said Kent Mason, a partner in law firm Davis & Harman, who is outside counsel for the American Benefits Council in Washington. “Public notice and comment is both a legal requirement and a fundamental part of our legal system.”
The council's recommendations have no binding authority or jurisdiction over the next steps.