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401k Plan Investment Fees are Easier to Accept When There is Full Disclosure

 

401k plan investment fees are easier to accept when there is full disclosure.  When participants understand the 401k plan investment fees there is better employee engagement. At the conclusion of a Fiduciary Education Session held at Rice University, Houston, TX, Mr. Fred Barstein, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), visited with Tina, a Benefits Administrator responsible for approximately 300 employees headquartered in the greater Houston area.  They discussed the benefits of Tina’s firm recently switching to a service provider who is a proponent of disclosing all 401k plan investment fees. View this video to learn how the fee disclosure can promote employee engagement.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barson:
Hi, this is Fred Barson with 401k TV at Rice University in Houston. I am here with Tina, who just attended our program. Welcome, Tina.

Tina:
Thank you.

Fred Barson:
Before we start, Tina, tell us a little bit about yourself and your organization.

Tina:
Hi, my name is Tina. I work with a company that’s about close to 300 people large. We have just recently changed HR TPA providers, and-

Fred Barson:
Right, and what’s your role in the company?

Tina:
I am the Benefits Administrator.

Fred Barson:
Right, so one of the things you mentioned was about, again, you changed your provider. What happened as a result of that?

Tina:
It was a little easier for our employees to see the fees that were associated with the 401k elections that they were making, and that generated a lot of conversation which was a good thing but I think that because of the disclosures that were out there, I think that they had a lot more questions and they were talking among themselves.

Fred Barson:
Right, they thought the 401k was free, and now they realize-

Tina:
That’s correct.

Fred Barson:
It’s not. Right.

Tina:
That’s right.

Fred Barson:
It’s not a bad thing, right?

Tina:
No, no I think it provides a lot of better understanding about how the system worked.

Fred Barson:
Also even with that, now you had more engagement.

Tina:
That’s true, I did.

Fred Barson:
Any engagement, even if “What is this fee? What am I paying for?” they can see that.

Tina:
Yeah, that’s right.

Fred Barson:
So you felt good about that.

Tina:
I did. I think it’s important that the employees understand how the system works, where the money is going, and to start getting a little bit more educated about their investments and making the right choices.

Fred Barson:
It was easier for you to see the fees that they were paying as well, right?

Tina:
Yes.

Fred Barson:
That was good. Final question for you, just a couple of things or something that you picked up that you want to try to implement when you go back after the program?

Tina:
A lot of the people here were talking about some of the education classes that they had-

Fred Barson:
For their employees?

Tina:
For their employees that they had, that they had presented. I think I’m going to go ahead and try to do the same things for ours. There’s a few that seem very interesting.

Fred Barson:
There’s a lot of resources out there to do that, whether it’s your advisor, provider or third parties as well.

Tina:
That’s right.

Fred Barson:
Very good. Well thanks for your time.

Tina:
Thank you.

Fred Barson:
Thanks for attending TPSU. Thank you for watching 401k TV.

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