Required Annual Notices for Health & Welfare Plans & Electronic Disclosure

Q: We have a client with many factory workers who do not have computers for work but they do have a breakroom with computers that employees can access regularly. Does this satisfies the requirement for electronic distribution?

A: If an employer wishes to provide annual notices electronically, there is an electronic safe harbor for distribution of documents for individuals without regular work-related computer access. However, the employer would need to have these employees affirmatively consent to the electronic disclosure and provide an email address for delivery of the documents. The employee, prior to giving consent must have been provided information that explains:

·   the types of documents that will be provided electronically;

·   that consent can be withdrawn without charge;

·   the procedures for withdrawing consent and updating information (e.g., address for receiving electronic disclosure);

·   the right to request a paper version and whether a charge applies; and

·   the electronic delivery system and what hardware and software will be needed to use it.

Reference/Resources:

“The Five Ws, and One H of Required Annual Notices for Health & Welfare Plans.” Alera Group, 2 Oct. 2020, aleragroup.com/insights/the-five-ws-and-one-h-of-required-annual-notices-for-health-welfare-plans-100120/.

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