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Making Sense of 401(k) Disclosures (SmartMoney)

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On Monday, the Labor Dept. declared that plan administrators must make the initial annual disclosure of “plan-level” and “investment-level” information to participants no later than Aug. 30, 2012, and the first quarterly statement (for fees incurred July through September) by Nov. 14, 2012. What can employees expect? Investment-related disclosures, for one, which will clearly outline the various investment options in a retirement plan, allowing participants to compare fees and expenses for mutual funds, bank collective investment funds, insurance annuity products, funds of funds, and asset allocation portfolios. Plan administrative expenses must also be disclosed, including any legal and accounting expenses, if the employer chooses to pass these on to employees. Finally, the quarterly statements that participants will receive must disclose the amount of fees and expenses actually charged to a participant account and a description of the services for which the fees were charged.

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