Mercer Paper Discusses Impact of Attention on Fees

Heightened scrutiny of retirement plan fees may impact how fees are charged and allocated to participants.

The paper, “Fee Allocation: Trends and Strategy,” says the recent focus on fees has fostered a movement away from an asset-based approach for calculating administrative fees to a per-capita approach. Mercer contends that soon plan sponsors and participants will be questioning whether it makes sense for higher-balance retirement plan participants to pay more in fees than those with lower balances when it costs the same to administer large or small accounts.  

It details examples of asset-based versus per-capita-based fee allocations, and suggests alternative allocation methods.  

The report includes a list of steps plan fiduciaries can take to help ensure they are fulfilling their responsibilities to participants as well as minimizing their own fiduciary risk.  

A copy of the paper is available at