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Smooth Sailing For 403(b) Plan Sponsors

Stocks in this article: PFG

New disclosure regulations from the Department of Labor (DOL) haven’t resulted in significant changes on the part of 403(b) plan sponsors. And only a very small percentage of participants expressed concern or confusion about the new disclosure information.

These and other insights are included in the latest survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), Impact of Fee Disclosure Regulation on 403(b) Plan Sponsors and Participants . Sponsored by the Principal Financial Group®, the survey is the only one of its kind to focus specifically on 403(b) plan sponsors.

“The new disclosure rules constituted a change in how fees and other plan information are reported, and that was cause for some concern on the part of plan sponsors and financial professionals alike. However, our survey shows that both plan sponsors and participants are responding well to the new regulation,” says Bob Benish, interim president and executive director, PSCA.

According to the survey:

  • Only 19.1 percent of 403(b) plan sponsors sent out requests for proposals (RFPs) or requests for information (RFIs) as part of complying with the new regulation.
  • One-third of plan sponsors used fee disclosure information to benchmark their plans.
  • Just 2.3 percent of participants asked questions about the fee disclosure information they received.
  • An overwhelming majority (95.9 percent) of plan sponsors reported no changes in participant behaviors as a result of fee disclosure.

Despite the success of the initial transition, plan sponsors will continue to need help from their financial professionals. “Financial professionals have worked hard to help clients navigate the new disclosure regulation and assess the reasonableness of fees. That is a process that will be ongoing, so the role of financial professionals continues to be important,” says Aaron Friedman, national non-profit practice leader, The Principal ®.

Full survey results are available at

About PSCA

The Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) is a nonprofit association that provides services, best practice information, and advocacy to defined contribution plan sponsors. Members have access to a broad range of resources and programs that address the varying needs of both small and large companies. Membership includes 1,200 companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 firms to small, entrepreneurial businesses.

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