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DOL Publishes New Rules On 401(k) Blackouts

New rules that require 401(k) plan sponsors to provide a minimum of 30 days notice to participants before a plan blackout period were recently published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The new regulations are part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and take effect on Jan. 26, 2002. "It doesn't mean much," since most plans give at least 30 days notice to a blackout, said Mark Niziak, vice president of professional services at New York Life Investment Management.

"Any prudent recordkeeper [already] gives ample notice of plan blackout periods to minimize the disruption to participants," Niziak said.