US Labor Department issues final rule to improve transparency of fees and expenses to workers with 401(k)-type retirement plans

Oct 14, 2010, 12:40 ET from U.S. Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration today announced a final rule to give the estimated 72 million participants covered by 401(k)-type retirement plans greater information regarding the fees and expenses associated with their plans in order to better manage their retirement savings.

Many 401(k)-type plans allow workers to make their own investment decisions.  Current law does not require that all workers be given the information they need to make informed investment decisions or, when information is given, that it is furnished in a user-friendly format.  This rule will ensure that all workers who direct their plan investments have access to the information they need to make informed decisions regarding the investment of their retirement savings, including fee and expense information.  Under the rule, workers will receive this information in a format that enables them to meaningfully compare the investment options under their plans.

"This rule provides uniform disclosure to workers about what they pay for investment options in their retirement plans," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  "For the first time, workers will have at their fingertips important and accessible investment-related information to comparison shop among the plan options available to them."

The final regulation requires plan fiduciaries to:

  • Give workers quarterly statements of plan fees and expenses deducted from their accounts.
  • Give workers core information about investments available under their plan including the cost of these investments.
  • Use standard methodologies when calculating and disclosing expense and return information to achieve uniformity across the spectrum of investments that exist in plans.
  • Present the information in a format that makes it easier for workers to comparison shop among the plan's investment options.
  • Give workers access to supplemental investment information in addition to the basic information required under the final rule.

"We are giving workers the tools they need to make the best possible decision about investing the nearly $3 trillion held in their 401(k)-type plans.  Now they will have information about different investment options to help them make wise decisions," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA Phyllis C. Borzi.  

For a copy of the fact sheet and sample investment chart, visit http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.

U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov.  The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request.  Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.  The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations.  For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor



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