DOL Issues 401(k) Plan Participant Fee Disclosure Rules


On October 20, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations that will require certain Employee Retirement Income Security Act retirement plan sponsors to disclose to plan participants information about plan fees and expenses, as well as other information about available investment alternatives. The regulations go into effect for plan years beginning on or after November 1, 2011.

Compliance with the regulations’ disclosure requirements will be required for plan sponsors of individual account retirement plans which allow for participant-directed investment of plan accounts, a typical feature for 401(k) and profit-sharing plans. Failure by a plan sponsor to provide the information required by the regulations will allow a plan participant or beneficiary to allege a breach of fiduciary duty—possibly making the plan sponsor liable for losses incurred by plan participants.

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