DOL Extends Deadline for 2013 Participant Fee Disclosures

Anyone with a 401(k) plan should care about how much of their money is being spent on investment manager fees. Back in 2010, the DOL published a set of regulations designed to increase transparency about how much of participants’ retirement savings were spent on fees and expenses. Every defined contribution plan with a self-direct option has to make these disclosures. The required disclosures include a chart comparing the plan’s designated investment alternatives. Without the disclosures, participants were often left in the dark about how much of their investments were eaten up by fees. With these disclosures, participants and beneficiaries in self-directed individual account plans such as 401(k) plans now have more information when choosing among investment alternatives.

On July 22, 2013, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2013-02, which extended the deadline for plan administrators to provide detailed investment-related information to plan participants and beneficiaries. The initial annual disclosures were due by August 30, 2012, with subsequent disclosures due at least annually thereafter. Plan administrators and service providers raised concerns raised that the annual August deadline for providing the comparative chart of designated investment alternatives had no correlation to the timing of other annual participant disclosures.  In response, the DOL extended the deadline for the 2013 comparative chart to February 25, 2014.

For more information about the participant fee disclosure requirements, please contact your Trust Fund counsel.

By Ezekiel Carder | July 30, 2013

Legal Developments