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April 25, 2007
Labor Department Looks at 401(k) Fees

The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration is reviewing rules on the disclosure of administrative and investment fees for 401(k) plans and is seeking comments from the public.

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In the April 25 edition of the Federal Register, the department published a request for information (RFI) to assist the department in improving information provided about administrative and investment fees and expenses charged to 401(k)-type plans.

The department notes that fees and expenses can have a significant impact on workers' retirement savings. The Labor Department has undertaken three projects to improve fee disclosure to plan participants, enhance reporting of fees and expenses to the government, and increase disclosure to plan fiduciaries by service providers.

The RFI requests comments on fee and expense disclosure issues affecting participants and beneficiaries of 401(k)-type plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Specifically, the department seeks information concerning what administrative and investment-related fee and expense information participants should consider when investing their retirement savings, the manner in which the information should be furnished to participants and who should provide that information.

In a recent report, the General Accountability Office recommended both statutory and regulatory changes to improve disclosure of fees and expenses to plan fiduciaries and participants.

Written comments on the fee disclosure RFI should be submitted electronically by email to or through the federal e-rulemaking portal at . Paper-based comments should be sent to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5669, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, Attention: Fee Disclosure RFI.

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