DOL has always dropped the ball on disclosure

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that 45% of plan participants are not able to use the information given in fee disclosures to determine the cost of their investment fee, and 41% of participants incorrectly believe that they pay nothing in 401(k) plan fees.

The GAO’s view is something we could have predicted back in 2012 when the Department of Labor (DOL) didn’t offer a sample set of disclosures notices for plan participants. I understand the difficulty of the DOL to offer sample notices when there are just so many fees out there, especially on the third-party administrator side. Fee disclosures, in my opinion, should not be as long as the Torah portion for my Bar Mitzvah. In my opinion, they should be a summary of a page that describes to participants what the fees are.

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