401(k) plans are about to become a whole lot more transparent. Starting next year, the Department of Labor will require sponsors to disclose specific plan fees and investment information in an easy-to-read format showing exactly what each participant paid for their plan in the previous quarter, and who the money went to. As the disclosure deadline approaches, sponsors are bracing for a consumer backlash. And while many people have no idea that their 401(k) costs include fees, Joel Shapiro, vice president of ERISA compliance at 401(k) Advisors, believes most plans are reasonably priced because recordkeepers have worked to make the bidding process competitive. One real danger for enrollees? Inexperienced plan sponsors that try to administer the plan without an advisor’s help risk noncompetitive pricing. 

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