The Investment Company Institute told the Department of Labor in a September 8 comment letter that the mutual fund industry supports DOL’s proposed rules for 401(k) plan disclosure, since they would provide investors with important information on how to invest for retirement. The comment period expired September 8 and the effective date is January 2009.

DOL’s proposal would require that participants and beneficiaries in all self-directed defined contribution plans receive basic and comparable information on all the investment options available to them in their plan.

In its comment letter, ICI first praised the proposal for “ensuring that disclosures do not focus solely on 401(k) fees and establishing a baseline disclosure of key information for all investments offered in 401(k) and other self-directed plans.” The ICI’s comment letter also made several suggestions to further improve the proposal and emphasized the importance of retaining provisions ensuring that the rule changes apply to all.

Other retirement industry officials have complained that the proposed rule’s January 2009 effective date should be pushed back because it is unrealistic and will be costly to implement in such a short period of time.