Newport Helps “Usher in New Era” of Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure

Posted: May 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

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The Newport Group, a leading provider of retirement and executive benefit plans, has been in the forefront of helping financial advisors and plan sponsors prepare for new DOL fee disclosure regulations.

The Newport Group, a leading provider of retirement and executive benefit plans, is helping educate financial advisors and plan sponsors about new Department of Labor (DOL) regulations which will require retirement plan recordkeepers to disclose service fees and investment expenses differently than in the past.

Newport has been preparing for these new fee disclosure requirements for over a year, in advance of final regulations issued this spring. Throughout 2011 and 2012, Newport has conducted a well-received communications campaign to both retirement plan sponsors and their financial advisors, through a series of newsletters, webcasts, sample disclosures, and online presentationsas well as a special presentation during its annual Advisor Conference. The firms longstanding practice of full fee disclosure fits well with the new requirements, noted Rob Schaffernoth, Newport Vice President, Retirement Services.

At Newport, we fully support the DOLs efforts to help plan sponsors and participants understand the true costs of their retirement plans, said Schaffernoth. For many years, Newport has led the industry in fee transparency, and our plan sponsors have consistently recognized this by naming us best in class for both fee disclosure and fee fairness.

Deadlines for the disclosures are drawing near, Schaffernoth noted. The deadline for providers to disclose fees to plan sponsors is July 1, 2012. Sponsors themselves must begin to provide full fee information to their employees beginning August 30, 2012.

For plan sponsor fee disclosure, service providers must provide sponsor fee disclosures not just by the deadline, but as any changes are made to service agreements, investment menus, or fee structures. Newport will deliver its disclosure to each associated financial advisor and subsequently to each plan sponsor. It will also be available online through the firms plan management website

Plan sponsors must provide participant fee disclosure when employees initially become eligible for the plan and at least annually thereafter, after initial disclosures in August. Newport will support sponsors and their advisors by providing a draft participant disclosure delivered to advisors and plan sponsors. Newport has redesigned its quarterly retirement account statements to show any administrative and transaction expenses incurred by the plan participant.

Schaffernoth added that Newports in-house experts are available on a consulting basis to support advisors and plan sponsors in understanding the new regulations.

Clearly, compliance with the DOL regulations entails a significant marshalling of resources, Schaffernoth commented. Were encouraged by the feedback weve received from plan advisors, who have been very complimentary about the amount of information weve provided, and the guidance offered by our in-house legal staff. We look forward to helping to usher in a new era of openness about plan fees in the retirement services industry.

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Newport Helps “Usher in New Era” of Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure

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May 30th, 2012 at 6:14 pm

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