Exemptions for 401(k) Investment Advice Become Final

By Hazel Bradford

Dec. 29, 2011

U.S. Labor Department rules spelling out permissible scenarios for giving investment advice to 401(k) and IRA participants without violating prohibited transaction rules are now final.

The exemptions, first announced Oct. 27, allow for providing investment advice under one of two scenarios: through the use of a computer model certified as unbiased, or through an advisor compensated on a “level fee” that does not change based on investment choices.

The final rule became effective Dec. 27 after a 60-day comment period, Labor Department spokesman Michael Trupo confirmed in a telephone interview.

“This rule is designed to simplify and bring transparency to the exemption application process,” Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, said in an October statement announcing publication of the final rule in the Oct. 27 edition of the Federal Register.

The final rule is on the Labor Department website.

Filed by Hazel Bradford of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email

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