Current Thinking

Standards for Electronic Delivery Of Required Plan Notices

As a general rule, an ERISA plan administrator may furnish notices to employees electronically.  However, the administrator must use measures “reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt.”   

To meet the DOL standard for electronic delivery of required plan notices, the guidelines require the following:

  • The participant must be able to effectively access the electronic document at a location where he is reasonably expected to perform his duties;
  • Access to the administrator’s electronic information system must be an integral part of those duties;
  • The administrator must ensure that personal information in the electronic documents is safeguarded;
  • The administrator must ensure the transmission results in actual receipt (this requires use of “return-receipt” or “notice of undelivered e-mail” features or a periodic survey to confirm receipt);
  • The electronic document must meet the same style, format and content requirements that apply to paper documents;
  • The significance of the document must be spelled out if it’s not otherwise obvious; and
  • The participants must be given the opportunity to request paper versions of the electronic document.

About the Author

Jill Williams

Jill oversees the daily record keeping operations and management of Pentegra’s Greenville, SC location. In addition to retirement plan administration and compliance, the South Carolina office manages the onboarding process for new clients and daily participant recordkeeping for the division.