SPARK Institute and ICI Release Investment Terms Glossary

A “Sample Glossary of Investment-Related Terms for Disclosures to Retirement Plan Participants” is available to help plan sponsors comply with new Department of Labor fee-disclosure regulations.  

The glossary was released by the SPARK Institute and the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and was developed to help defined contribution plan sponsors comply with the new DoL participant disclosure regulations that require plans to give participants specific information on plan investments, including fees and performance. The glossary defines more than 170 terms that are likely to apply to a wide group of plans and investments and took approximately one year to develop, according to Larry Goldbrum, SPARK Institute general counsel. 

“Many service providers expressed the need for an industry-wide glossary that retirement plans could use to satisfy the requirement to provide participants with access to a glossary of investment terms when the new disclosure rules go into effect. We hope that the glossary helps to solve one of the compliance challenges that plan sponsors and administrators are faced with under the new Department of Labor plan participant disclosure rules,” said Goldbrum.

The glossary has been endorsed by the American Benefits Council, American Council of Life Insurers, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries and the Society for Human Resource Management. Goldbrum explained that “the glossary will be publicly available to recordkeepers, other plan service providers and plan sponsors for use in meeting the Labor Department disclosure requirements.”

It is available on The SPARK Institute website at and the ICI website at, as well as through all of the endorsing groups. Plan participants are likely to start receiving new disclosures under the DoL requirements in 2012.