Independent retirement plan recordkeepers today continued to wrestle with other industry players over the level of detail needed in plan fee reports.
The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, Arlington, Va., and its affiliated subsidiary, the Council of Independent 401(k) Recordkeepers (CIKR), urged at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee on retirement plan fees that Congress require all vendors, including those that provide “bundled services,” to provide information about what each service costs.
“Any inconsistent disclosure requirements based on the service provider’s business model will not allow an ‘apples to apples’ comparison of each service provided to a plan,” CIKR Chair Tommy Thomasson said on behalf of CIKR and ASPPA, according to a written version of his remarks.
CIKR represents independent plan administration firms that help plan sponsors buy services from different vendors.
David Certner, legislative counsel at AARP, Washington, also spoke in favor of un-bundling.
To give plan fiduciaries the resources they need to ensure that plan fees are reasonable, “bundled service arrangements would essentially have to be un-bundled for clearer presentation of the costs,” Certner said.
Allison Klausner, who represented the American Benefits Council, Washington, at the hearing, and several other witnesses who testified for employer and financial services groups, such as the Investment Company Institute, Washington, said Congress should leave the specifics of fee bundling and un-bundling up to the vendors and their customers.