Speaking at the Investment Company Institute’s General Membership Meeting in Washington, ICI Chairman Martin Flanagan said the industry is committed to improving disclosure in 401(k) plans but that the disclosure should apply to all investments in the plans, not just mutual funds.

With $2.7 trillion in assets and as a critical leg of Americans’ retirement, disclosure for both sponsors and participants should be improved, Flanagan said.

Be the underlying investment a mutual fund, separate account or annuity, “the quality of disclosure that a 401(k) plan receives should be comprehensive and apply to all investment options in the plan,” said Flanagan, who is president of Amvescap.

Specifically, the ICI has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that all investors, be they in a 401(k) plan or not, receive a brief summary of fees and expenses, risks, historical performance, investment objectives and the fund advisor’s identity when buying shares.

Brian Murdock, president and CEO of New York Life Investment Management and chairman of this year’s annual meeting, echoed Flanagan’s sentiments on the importance of 401(k) plans. And since mutual funds account for half of all 401(k) assets, the fund industry has a special obligation to investors, Murdock said.

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