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Harkin, Miller Welcome DOL Rule to Strengthen Fee Disclosure for Worker Retirement Accounts

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and U.S. Representative George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, today welcomed the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule to ensure employers are given a summary of the fees being charged in connection with their 401(k) and other retirement plans.

“Millions of people are counting on their 401(k) plans to provide financial security in retirement, but for too long, high fees have eaten away at their accounts.  We are finally starting to shine some light onto fees thanks to DOL’s recent disclosure rules, and costs are already starting to come down,” Harkin said. “But many employers – especially small business owners – still have a difficult time understanding what they are being charged because service providers are not providing clear, concise disclosures.  The Department’s proposal to require a summary disclosure would make it much easier on employers and would go a long way toward helping them offer cost-effective retirement plans.  It is critically important that the Department move forward with the rulemaking expeditiously.”

“Middle class families who rely on a 401(k) need to fully understand both the benefits and fees associated with their employer  retirement plan. For too long, confusing business arrangements and undisclosed fees have skimmed money from workers’ hard-earned savings. As a result, too many workers and their employers don’t know how much they are being charged or why,” Miller said. “Financial service firms need to fully explain and disclose the fees they take from workers’ accounts. The Department’s proposal to require greater fee disclosure will finally shed much needed light on these practices, and will go a long way to protecting working families and their retirement savings.”