GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Great-West Retirement Services, the fourth largest retirement plan record keeper in the United States by participant accounts, today announced it has created a template in compliance with the new Department of Labor (DOL) 408(b)(2) fee disclosure requirements to provide comprehensive information about its services, fees and expenses to plan sponsors. Moreover, the template, completed nearly eight months before the deadline for the provider-to-plan sponsor disclosure regulation, provides even more disclosure than mandated by the DOL.
"As an industry leader, one of our goals was to not only meet the fee disclosure requirements but to also meet the spirit of the requirements in the most thorough way possible," said Charlie Nelson, president of Great-West Retirement Services. "With that goal in mind, we combined almost all fee disclosure information into a single, comprehensive document, and even disclosed certain fees not required by the new regulation. We surpassed other requirements as well. For example, the regulation doesn't require a service provider to show fees in dollars and percentages instead of formulas; however, we provide our disclosure in both dollars and percentages. This way, the information is more understandable for plan sponsors. We also provide a summary of fees as well as a detailed breakdown by category," he said.
Again, in addition to meeting the requirements, the template also provides third-party certification that it complies with the regulation. Nelson said Great-West engaged DALBAR, Inc., a noted industry communications firm, to work on the template's design and to certify its compliance. "Plans may hire a consultant to verify that their plan meets the new requirements," he said. "However, the reviewer often has a previous relationship with the plan. In contrast, DALBAR is an independent third party that doesn't have a vested interest in the evaluation. This gives plan fiduciaries additional comfort knowing that the template provides them the information they need to meet their plan fiduciary responsibilities," he said. A sample template is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nelson noted that Great-West shared the template with a number of industry-leading advisors and third-party administrators who provided additional valuable input into the design of the document. "We believe it's important that plan service providers work together to provide these documents to plan sponsors," he said. "It's critical that plan sponsors have access to comprehensive, easy-to-understand information so they're aware of all the services different providers deliver to the plan and its participants."
"Historically, Great-West has been an industry leader on fee disclosure and transparency," said David Hinderstein of Strategic Retirement Group in White Plains, NY. "The new Great-West fee disclosure document takes transparency and disclosure to a new level by showing every dollar and really educating the plan sponsor."
Pam Firmin, plan administrator for Texas Pipe, said she liked the template because it's important to know exactly what fees are being charged. "As a fiduciary, I need to know what our fees are because participants sometimes ask. Now I'll have a better idea of how much we pay. It will make it easier for me to communicate with employees," Firmin said. "I applaud Great-West for voluntarily going beyond what the DOL requires."
About Great-West Retirement Services
Great-West Retirement Services, a business unit of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, is the fourth-largest retirement plan record keeper in the United States, based on total participant accounts at year-end 2010, according to Pensions & Investments, April 2011. In all, Great-West Retirement Services provided 401(k), 401(a), 403(b) and 457 retirement plan services to 25,000 plans representing 4.5 million participant accounts and $155 billion in assets at June 30, 2011.
Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, headquartered in metro Denver, serves its customers through a range of group retirement savings products and services, individual life insurance and annuities, and business-owned life insurance. It is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and "A Member of the Power Financial Corporation Group of Companies" ®.
"A Member of the Power Financial Corporation Group of Companies" is the registered mark of Power Corporation of Canada. Great-West Retirement Services and the Partnership logo are the registered trademarks of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company.
SOURCE Great-West Retirement Services