On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” (the “Act”). This far-reaching regulatory reform bill will re-shape the nation’s financial system. As significant participants in nation-wide and global financial markets, employee benefit plans (including ERISA-covered plans and governmental plans) should expect changes resulting from the Act to affect their investment activities directly, or by regulation of the financial institutions and other entities that provide plan services or are counterparties to plan financial transactions. Notably, the full scope and impact of the Act is still to be defined, because the Act requires numerous new regulations to be issued by Federal regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Federal Reserve and other banking regulators.
In the attached memo, we discuss how some key provisions may affect plans and plan service providers.