Workers Don't Want Overload of Fee Info

June 22, 2009 ( - When asked what level of detail they would like to receive in information about retirement plan fees, only 31% of workers surveyed said they prefer a highly detailed account of fees and expenses.

The survey, conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, found that more than two-thirds of the workers surveyed stated either a preference for some form of summary information (54%) or no preference (14%) for the level of fee detail they receive. Thirty-two percent of workers prefer the information to be somewhat summarized with a breakdown of fees for services and investments, while 22% prefer a high-level summary with a total, all-inclusive cost, according to a press release.

Seventy-five percent of survey respondents said they would prefer to receive information through an electronic format such as electronic quarterly account statements or through their plan provider’s Web site.

The majority of employers surveyed (92%) agree that the people responsible for overseeing the plan have a clear understanding of fees and expenses associated with their company’s 401(k) plan, with 48% who strongly agree. Most employers (73%) also believe that their employees have a clear understanding of 401(k) fees; however, only 29% of workers indicated they were aware of fees.

The survey found that workers who agree they are very involved in monitoring and managing their retirement savings are more than twice as likely to be aware of fees than those who are not very involved (35% vs. 16%).

The 10 th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between December 16, 2008, and January 13, 2009, among 3,466 full-time and part-time workers.