Are you prepared to handle your 401(k) plan duties? Stay on top of current regulatory, legislative and legal trends.
A full-featured retirement plan is essential to attract and retain loyal, quality employees. Given their highly-regulated environment, however, costs of administering a 401(k) defined contribution plan can be high. Plan sponsors often pay some or all of these costs from plan assets, which reduces participants' account balances. Over a 35-year career, the resulting erosion of plan assets can cost a retiree several hundred thousand dollars.
To address this problem, federal regulators adopted stringent regulations in 2012 designed to ensure full disclosure of all plan-related fees to both plan sponsors and participants. Implementation of these regulations has been mixed. Service provider and participant disclosures can be opaque. Nonetheless, failure to comply with fee disclosure regulations can result in severe penalties, and compliance responsibility falls squarely on plan sponsors.
This topic will take a look at how fee disclosure has worked so far, arm plan sponsors with the tools they need to understand fees and ask the right questions when disclosures are unclear, and ensure that they know what and how they must communicate with plan participants to meet their fiduciary obligations.
- You will be able to identify the range of direct and indirect costs that you pay service providers to help you administer your plan.
- You will be able to explain to your participants plan costs that are paid from plan assets.
- You will be able to recognize whether the costs of the plan are reasonable and what you can do if they are not.
- You will be able to discuss how to fulfill your fiduciary duty as a plan sponsor to identify, understand, and communicate plan fees.
Douglas Dormire Powers, Beckman Lawson, LLP
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