Blackout notice instructions
If there is a blackout period (as outlined in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) with respect to a defined contribution plan, the Plan Sponsor/Trustee
must notify affected participants* and beneficiaries in writing no later than 30 days, but not more than 60 days, prior to the beginning date of the
blackout period. It is important to carefully consider the length of time needed for a blackout period, in order to avoid having to distribute update notices.
A “blackout period” is defined as a period of more than three consecutive business days during which affected participants* or
beneficiaries are: 1) unable to direct or diversify assets in their account; 2) unable to obtain a loan; or 3) unable to obtain a distribution.
To assist the Plan Sponsor/Trustee with its responsibility, a blackout notice form is provided on the next couple of pages. For additional details about
the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, please logon to http://www.dol.gov/federalregister/PdfDisplay.aspx?DocId=19941.
• The notice must be
– Completed by the Plan Sponsor/Trustee and printed on company letterhead.
– Delivered by the Plan Sponsor/Trustee to all affected participants* and beneficiaries.
– Provided at least 30 days, but not more than 60 days in advance of the last day on which the rights will be
temporarily suspended. In the final regulations, all “days” are references to calendar days, not business days,
unless specifically noted otherwise.
– Delivered in writing by mail (First Class mail, certified mail, interoffice mail or express mail) or electronically,
provided actual receipt of the electronic distribution is ensured. The “furnishing” requirement will be satisfied
by following the disclosure rules found in DOL Regulation 104b-1, found at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1; you can view
these disclosure rules by going to: http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/Title_29/Part_2520/29CFR2520.104b-1.htm.
• How do I determine my blackout period? The blackout period will begin on the date that accounts with the