Majority of Plan Sponsors Ready for Participant Fee Disclosure

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) participant fee disclosure requirements go into effect August 30, and the majority of plan sponsors surveyed are ready.

As of June 18, 24% of the 109 respondents to a survey by Broadridge Financial Solutions indicated they had not finalized processes to communicate the fees, and an additional 5% still need help understanding the regulation. Only 13% of respondents indicated they have not made any preparations for “day two” of the new regulations when participants receive their annual fee notice.

According to the survey, there is some concern about participant reaction to the new fee disclosures, with the majority of respondents (57%) noting they expect participants to be somewhat interested upon receipt of their annual fee notice, and 24% expecting participants to ask a lot of questions and even ask plan sponsors to change plan providers.

“The key to staying ahead of participant reaction—whether positive or negative—is preparation and education,” said Timothy Slavin, senior vice president, defined contribution, Broadridge. “Firms need help to arm plan sponsors with detailed information to answer participants’ questions, as well as have call centers geared up and prepared to respond to inquiries in a timely fashion.”

Half the respondents stated they could use additional support in creating educational materials for participants, and 28% noted that they need help with e-delivery consent gathering.

Looking ahead, firms are already thinking about what changes they anticipate making for next year’s fee disclosures, with 29% hoping to introduce e-delivery for participants and 26% planning to look for new ways to stay competitive.

“This is just the beginning. There is great opportunity for firms to enhance their services and ensure that they are providing the best offering for plan sponsors and participants,” added Slavin.

Real-time results of the survey can be viewed online here.