601 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
South Building –Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20004-2601
Mr. Christopher Cox, Chairman
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20549-0609
Re: Internet Availability of Proxy Materials (File Number S7-10-05)
Dear Chairman Cox:
On behalf of the more than 2 million members of the National Retiree Legislative Network, I am writing to register our opposition to the SEC proposal that would force shareowners to have to request a paper copy of their annual report and proxy statement. Allowing companies to simply mail shareholders a notice stating that these documents, along with proxy voting ballots, are available on the Internet is unacceptable to the vast majority of NRLN members.
While an increasing number of seniors are becoming accustomed to using the Internet, a very high percentage of older shareowners would be disenfranchised if the Internet became the main means to access corporate annual reports and proxy proposals. If an individual is Internet savvy and elects to receive annual reports and proxy materials via the Internet that is his/her choice. However, a shareowner should be able to receive paper copies of corporate annual reports and proxy proposals without having to request them after a company distributes its notice that the materials are available on the Internet.
Proxy proposal materials and proxy cards should not be separated because proxy cards do not provide enough information about what the shareowner is being asked to vote on. Shareowners need to have access—through paper mailings and Internet access—to sufficient information about a proxy proposal both from the viewpoint of the shareowner who submitted the proxy and the company.
The NRLN urges the SEC not to implement its proposal on Internet Availability of Proxy Materials. Communications channels between shareowners and the corporations they own must be kept open through both print and electronic media.
A. J. (Jim) Norby