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Updated Form 5500, fiduciary hearings on Labor Department's summer calendar

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The U.S. Department of Labor is planning a busy summer, Assistant Secretary Phyllis Borzi told attendees at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ Washington legislative conference Monday, with an agenda that includes the new proposed fiduciary rule, an updated Form 5500 and ways to improve lifetime income statements.

Ms. Borzi, who heads the Employee Benefits Security Administration, said that July 6 is the end of the comment period for a proposed new fiduciary standard, which will be followed by public hearings and another comment period. “So it’s a very long and open public process,” Ms. Borzi said.

Also, she said her agency has spent the past two years looking at ways to improve the data collected in the Form 5500. One concern is getting more information on less traditional asset classes, which she said are not fully reported now.

“The ‘other’ category is the exception that swallows the rule,” Ms. Borzi said.

Officials there also want to improve the data collected on service providers’ fees and expenses, “with better, more targeted reporting so everybody has a better idea of what they are paying for what they are getting,” she said, adding that a draft proposal should be ready by late summer.

“We are also getting ready to repropose an example of what a lifetime income statement might be,” Ms. Borzi said.

Hazel Bradford writes for Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Business Insurance.