401(K) Plan Fees: A Trifecta of Governmental Oversight
NYU REVIEW OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION, Alvin Lurie, ed., Ch. 17, 2009
40 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2009
Date Written: December 1, 2009
Arguably, 401(k) plan fees are the biggest policy issue in the retirement world today. They potentially raise questions about the fundamental business underpinnings of the principal form of retirement savings for the last twenty years. As an indication of their significance, three branches of the federal government: administrative, judicial, and legislative; are currently and simultaneously addressing 401(k) plan fees.
This Article discusses recent governmental activity regarding 401(k) plan fees. It begins by discussing three recent DOL initiatives governing the disclosure of plan fees: (1) the revision of Form 5500, and particularly Schedule C; (2) the proposed section 408(b)(2) regulations; and (3) the proposed section 404(a)/404(c) regulations. The Article then turns to the 401(k) plan fee litigation. Specifically, it discusses two leading decisions, Haddock v. Nationwide Financial Services and Hecker v. Deere, which represent opposite ends of the spectrum of judicial resolution of 401(k) plan fee disputes. Finally, the Article discusses recent legislative proposals to mandate greater disclosure of 401(k) plan fees.
Keywords: retirement, 401(k) plans, 401(k) plan fees, ERISA
JEL Classification: J26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation