New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has subpoenaed Putnam Investments over 401(k) fee rebates, Putnam’s parent company Marsh & McLennan has revealed in an SEC filing. The subpoenas refer to "expense reimbursement agreements between Putnam and deferred compensation clients" as well as consultants to the plans, according to the filing.
Massachusetts regulators have also contacted the firm, it said, echoing what several Putnam funds admitted in eight earlier shareholder disclosures filed with the SEC.

A Putnam internal review stemming from its role in the mutual fund scandal is what uncovered the 401(k) transgressions, according to Putnam spokeswoman Laura McNamara, who also said that everything has since been corrected.

Putnam’s top retirement plan attorney, Ralph Derbyshire, earlier issued a statement saying that in cases where 401(k) plan sponsors absorb administrative costs that could be charged directly to plan participants, Putnam occasionally issues rebates. Further, Derbyshire said, the money comes out of Putnam’s corporate assets, not from the underlying mutual funds’ marketing fees.

"Plan expense reimbursement agreements are straightforward agreements which are commonly used across the deferred [contribution] industry," Putnam spokeswoman Nancy Fisher told Reuters.

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