Mercer Paper Discusses Impact of Attention on Fees

December 21, 2011 ( – A new Mercer Finance & Risk Perspective paper discusses the impact more scrutiny of retirement plan fees will have on how fees are charged and allocated to participants.

The paper says the recent focus on fees has fostered a movement away from an asset-based approach for calculating administrative fees to a per-capita approach. Mercer contends that soon plan sponsors and participants will be questioning whether it makes sense for higher-balance retirement plan participants to pay more in fees than those with lower balances when it costs the same to administer large or small accounts.  

It details examples of asset-based versus per-capita-based fee allocations, and suggests alternative allocation methods.  

The report includes a list of steps plan fiduciaries can take to help ensure they are fulfilling their responsibilities to participants as well as minimizing their own fiduciary risk.  

A copy of “Fee Allocation: Trends and Strategy” can be downloaded from