401(k) Fees Need More Transparency, Labor Dept. Says

Memo to 401(k) savings plan service providers: You’re ignoring the intent of Labor Department disclosure rules when you bury the expenses and fees for those plans in a mountain of paperwork, using language only legal experts can decipher. If investors don’t know or understand how much they’re paying in fees associated with different investment options, for example, how can they know if they’re overpaying for certain funds and limiting retirement balances from increasing more fully? Phyllis C. Borzi, the assistant secretary of …

401(k) Fees: Workers Aren’t Doing Much to Lower Them

Though we now know how much 401(k) fees are siphoning from our 401(k) plans, we don’t seem to be doing much about it. It’s been a year since the Labor Department required employers that sponsor a retirement saving plan to provide more information about the expenses connected with the various investment options and administering the plan. According to a new survey by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), 53 percent of defined contribution plan participants say they noticed the fee …

Retirement Gamble: Wake-Up Call on 401(k) Fees

Worried about how you’re going to pay for retirement? Join the club. A PBS Frontline documentary called The Retirement Gamble shows that you’re in good company. The silver lining: a brighter spotlight on hidden fees, plus information to help make the most of whatever you can sock away. Kudos to journalist Martin Smith, who ‘fessed up to the common mistake of saving for his kids’ education at the expense of his own retirement security (more on why it’s okay – and …

Seven Easy Ways to Boost Your 401(k)

Sadly, 401(k)  plans may not be the best vehicle to guarantee us a secure retirement that will last through the years. Too many variable factors – the market’s performance, the timing of  our retirement, the cost of our plan, our asset allocation and so on – can influence whether we’re able to save the sobering amount financial planners say we’ll need. By the looks of it, we’re in deep trouble. Financial advisers say we need to have saved eight to …

401(k) Fees No Longer Hidden (But Prepare to Be Shocked)

Are we getting suckered by 401(k) fees that are driving down our retirement savings? We’re about to find out. And the answer could be ugly. Beginning July 1, government rules go into effect that require service providers to clearly disclose for the first time the fees they charge to administer our 401(k) plans. We may not get the statements detailing those fees until August, however. Industry experts say that most of the 72 million 401(k) participants will be stunned because …

Thinking About Retirement Pays Off at Any Age

When you hear the “R” word, what comes to mind? Your perspective on retirement planning depends on a lot of things, including your age bracket. If you’re 50+, you might say: “What retirement? My IRA has taken a huge hit, and now I’ll have to work way past 65.” Or, “I’m so behind I don’t even know where to start. I hope Social Security is there when I need it, but I’m worried.” A 40-something might say: “Retirement? We’re down …