“It’s an absolute fact that fee disclosure is going to happen,” Rick Meigs, president of 401khelpcenter.com, told MarketWatch. “The battle now comes down to what form it takes.”
The House Education and Labor Committee began work on Thursday on drafting legislation to disclose fees and better indicate investment strategies, risks and returns.
The committee will also debate whether 401(k) plans should be required to offer at least one balanced index fund. “That’s a controversial issue,” Meigs said. “It could revive a debate over what types of mutual funds are most appropriate for 401(k) plans.”
The fund industry has been pushing for target-date funds, balanced funds and separately managed accounts.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor is also working on recommendations for default options in 401(k)s, as well as more transparent fee and expense information—both for investors and plan sponsors.
“The proposed changes to annual reports make it easier for regulations and plan officials to ensure workers’ interests are protected,” said Bradford Campbell, assistant secretary of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.