The following commentary is from an investment professional with Clear Harbor Asset Management who is a participant in TheStreet's expert contributor program.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Interested in learning more about the fees that are coming out of your 401(k) retirement savings account? The good news is that the Department of Labor is imposing new rules soon requiring Wall Street firms to provide more transparency about the fees they charge employers and their workers on 401(k) accounts. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. The bad news, however, is that it's 2012, and our elected officials are just getting around to requiring some basic transparency on the fees that Wall Street charges employers and workers on 401(k) retirement accounts.
Throughout this period, it is now well known that investors in 401(k) plans were being clipped with a host of fees from both 401(k) providers and the investment firms that supplied the mutual funds and other financial products that made up the plans. These included marketing fees, legal fees, trustee fees, transactional fees, stewardship fees, finder's fees and so on. Sometimes, these fees were disclosed in indecipherable ways in the fine print, and in many cases, they simply were not disclosed at all. George Miller, a U.S. representative from California who chaired the Education and Labor Committee, told 60 Minutes in an investigation into 401(k)s that in some cases, fees had eaten up half the income generated in individual 401(k) accounts.