Summary of eDelivery Regulations:
On May 21, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final regulation allowing employers to delivery certain ERISA required documents and disclosures electronically. The new rule provides the ability to default participants into electronic delivery (eDelivery) after sending an Initial Notice in paper form. Documents and disclosures can then be posted on a website, if a Notification of Internet Availability (NOIA) is furnished electronically to participants when the document is made available, or in the body of the email, or as an attachment. The expansion of electronic accessibility not only helps to satisfy regulatory disclosure requirements, but also allows participants to receive communications in the digital manner they’ve come to expect.
Read the full details of the 2020 DOL Final Rule on Disclosures here: DOL Final Rule on Disclosure through Electronic Media.pdf
Up until the ruling issued in May 2020, the regulations around eDelivery of documents and disclosures fell under the DOL Ruling issued on April 9, 2002. This rule made eDelivery available for participants who:
- Are “wired at work,” using email as an “integral part” of their work-related duties; or
- Provided an email address and affirmatively consented to receiving electronic disclosures
It is important to note that a Plan Sponsor can still rely on the 2002 ruling.
Read the full details of the 2002 eDelivery safe harbor here: Electronic Delivery of Required Notices and Disclosures.pdf
What is Sentinel doing to support eDelivery for our clients?
At Sentinel we are in the process of designing a service which allows you to fulfill your document and disclosure requirements through eDelivery. This service will include:
- Availability of an Initial Notice that is provided to Covered Individual that documents may be delivered electronically.
- eDelivery of documents and disclosures to Participant’s preferred email addresses.
- A process which allows Participants to opt out of eDelivery.
- Reporting of Participants who are eligible for eDelivery, those who are not and those who have opted out.
- Flexibility of eDelivery options on future documents and disclosures.
We anticipate that our eDelivery service will be available in 2021. More information will be announced regarding the details.