Washington, D.C., counsel Bradford Campbell was quoted in the November 2012 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance on the subject of new 401(k) fee-disclosure regulations.

The article notes that, according to a 2011 AARP survey, 71 percent of 401(k) participants were unaware that they were paying plan expenses and many employers were similarly clueless about how, or even if, certain fees were being paid.

Now, as a result of new fee-disclosure regulations, with a little bit of homework, all the information can be pieced together.

Brad, in his former role as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits, proposed the original disclosure regulations now taking effect.

It “isn’t just about fees,” he said. “It’s also about giving a useful and concise summary of investment options, so in one place you have all the information you need.”

Many employers outsource some or all of the chores involved in running a 401(k), for example maintaining records, providing customer service, managing investments and ensuring that the plan complies with federal regulations. Before the news rules came into effect, it was very difficult for employers to ensure that the fees charged by these 401(k) experts were reasonable.

Brad said another goal of fee disclosure is “making service providers more transparent about fees and expenses and how they are getting paid.”

Since July, all plan providers have had to tell plan sponsors how much money they were making. “The plan’s fiduciary always had the duty to gather information and make good decisions,” said Brad. “Now there is a corresponding duty on the part of providers to disclose.”

To read the entire article, click here.