House Committee to Vote on Fee Disclosure Bill

April 11, 2008 ( - The House Education and Labor Committee is scheduled to vote on legislation to ensure that American workers have clear and complete information about fees that could be cutting into their 401(k)-style retirement savings on April 16.

The 401(k) Fair Disclosure for Retirement Security Act (H.R. 3185) was introduced last July by U.S. Representative George Miller (D-California). The bill would also require 401(k) plan service providers to clearly disclose all potential conflicts of interest, and would force 401(k)-style plans to include at least one lower-cost, balanced index fund in their investment lineup (See Representative Miller Introduces Fee Disclosure Legislation ).

In December, similar legislation was introduced in the Senate (See Senators Introduce 401(k) Fee Disclosure Legislation ) by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin).

A recent Chatham Partners study asserted that many plan sponsors are racked with under-the-surface doubts about their understanding of plan fees (See Sponsors not Models of Confidence on Plan Fees ). According to Chatham, 77% of surveyed sponsors indicated that current disclosure levels are sufficient; however, only 58% of respondents said they feel confident about their understanding of their plan’s overall costs.