Mutual fund shareholders next year could begin seeing the expenses associated with running their funds decrease by millions of dollars as the result of recent moves by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A pair of rules, one adopted Nov. 5 and the other proposed on that date, would permit fund companies to send a single copy of key fund documents, such as prospectuses, shareholder reports and proxy statements, to families that now receive multiple identical copies of those mailings. If fund companies widely use the new rules, which the SEC has called the "house-holding" rules, shareholders could save as much as $18 million each year, according to the SEC. Even greater savings are possible, according to the SEC.

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