Optional Internet Availability of Investment Company Shareholder Reports
The Securities and Exchange Commission is adopting new rule 30e-3 under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Subject to conditions, new rule 30e-3 will provide certain registered investment companies with an optional method to satisfy their obligations to transmit shareholder reports by making such reports and other materials accessible at a website address specified in a notice to investors. We are also adopting amendments to rule 498 under the Securities Act of 1933 and our fund registration forms to require that during a certain transition period funds that choose to implement the new delivery method for shareholder reports provide prominent disclosures in prospectuses and certain other shareholder documents that will notify investors of the upcoming change in transmission format for a period of two years. New rule 30e-3 and the amendments to rule 498 and our registration forms address the fact that some investors may wish to receive shareholder reports in paper. As such, the new rule incorporates a set of protections so that investors who prefer to receive reports in paper will continue to receive them in that format. These protections include, among others, a minimum length phase-in period that ends no earlier than December 31, 2020 and notice requirements that must be implemented and followed beginning January 1, 2019, or the date shares are first publicly offered, if a registered investment company would want to use new rule 30e-3 as of January 1, 2021. The rule requires that a paper notice be sent to an investor each time a current shareholder report is accessible online. The notice must include instructions for how an investor can electat any timeto receive all future reports in paper, or request to receive particular reports in paper on an ad hoc basis. We are also adopting related amendments to certain other rules and forms. This optional method is intended to modernize the manner in which periodic information is made available to investors, which we believe will improve investors' experience while reducing expenses associated with printing and mailing shareholder reports that are borne by investment companies and ultimately their investors.