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News Release

EBSA Press Release: Labor Department Seeks Public Comment on 401(k) Plan Fees at November Hearing [10/16/1997]

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

For more information call: (202) 219-8921 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) published today a Federal Register notice of a hearing to invite public comment on current practices relating to 401(k) plan fees and expenses. The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 12 and will begin at 10 a.m. in Room S-4215 A-C, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. It will be extended, if necessary, to Nov. 13.

In recent years there has been tremendous growth in defined contribution plans- especially 401(k) plans. Today, approximately 25 million workers save for their retirement by investing approximately $1 trillion in 401(k) plans. Recently, questions have been raised by the national media regarding the fees and expenses currently charged to 401(k) plans and participants. Some of the questions emerging include: Do plan sponsors and participants understand what fees and expenses they are paying? Is there a need for more disclosure of fee information? Are plan sponsors doing enough to protect plan participants from excessive fees?

"We are concerned about media and other reports suggesting that employers and employees may not be receiving adequate information about the fees charged to their 401(k) plans," said Olena Berg, assistant secretary for PWBA. "There have also been some reports that they may not understand the information that they receive. This hearing is an opportunity to obtain first-hand information about problems in the area and suggestions for possible solutions."

Requests to testify at the hearing and written comments should be submitted no later than Nov. 3 to Debra Golding, Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Room N-5669, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N. W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

All submissions will be open to public inspection in PWBA's Public Documents Room in N-5638, at the Constitution Avenue address.

This information will also be available on PWBA's internet site at:

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 16, 1997
Release Number