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Rating:401k Fee Disclosure Passes House Not Rated 4.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, May 28, 2010

401k Fee Disclosure Passes House

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Fee disclosure reform is one step closer to implementation. In a get-away vote prior to breaking for the Memorial Day long weekend for 10 days, the house passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213).

The vote of the bill was 215 for to 206 against with 11 members not voting.

The bill include fee-disclosure provisions introduced by Rep. George Miller (D. California). The bill also included provisions to provide pension funding relief for some defined benefit plans.

"It is beyond time that Americans have basic, clear and timely information on the costs and choices contained in their 401(k) plans," said Miller in a statement. "Guaranteeing complete and simple disclosure of fees will help give Americans a fighting chance to strengthen their retirement and increase our nationís future economic security."

However, the 401(k) fee provisions are controversial to some employer and industry groups that fear they will make plans more costly to administer.

"Voluntary employer sponsorship of these plans is essential for the future financial security of millions of working Americans," said James Klein, president of the American Benefits Council (ABC) in a statement. "While we greatly appreciate the inclusion of a 'good faith' standard for interpreting the legislation until official guidance is released, we remain concerned about the practical challenges of implementation.

The fee-disclosure provisions in the bill were based on the 401(k) Fair Disclosure and Pension Security Act authored by Miller, who chairs the House Education and Labor Committee.

Democrats added the provisions to the tax bill last Friday.

Addressing pension plans, Miller stated that: "This bill will save jobs by providing pension plans the flexibility they need to continue their plans without freezing or defaulting. All liabilities must still be paid, but plans will have more time to make up for the historic financial collapse." 

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