The US Department of Labor has finalized amendments to its longstanding regulations interpreting the statutory exemption for the provision of plan services under Section 408(b)(2) of ERISA. The Final Rule becomes effective on July 1, 2012 for all covered new and existing service provider relationships. The Final Rule is part of the DOL’s three-part regulatory initiative to require enhanced disclosures relating to direct and indirect service provider compensation. Although it is substantially similar to the interim final regulation that was published on July 16, 2010, the Final Rule includes a number of key changes; and leaves many issues raised by commenters unresolved.

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