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Change is here

Sometimes it feels like it takes a large team to support a single retirement plan: advisors, administrators, trustees, and other service providers. Each service provider must be paid for their services.

As the retirement industry has evolved—shifting from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans—service providers every so often delegate or share some of their responsibilities with other expert parties, including sharing the revenue associated with that service.

This trend has improved efficiency and reduced the cost of administrative services and benefits for plans and plan participants.

However, it can make it hard for plan fiduciaries and participants to understand how much they are paying for plan services and to whom, which is why the Department of Labor (DOL) launched a fee transparency initiative to expand fee disclosure requirements and to develop educational information and other resources to help plan sponsors and participants understand retirement plan fees.

DOL's Approach to Fee Transparency

Fee transparency reigns


The first part of the DOL’s fee transparency initiative—known as the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) regulations—requires service providers to disclose feeds to plan sponsors. This is designed to ensure that each plan fiduciary receives the information they need to assess the reasonableness of service provider fees and identify any potential conflicts of interest before entering a service relationship.

The second part of the DOL’s initiative—the ERISA 404a-5 participant fee disclosure regulations—are designed to ensure plan participants have the information they need to make informed decisions about the management and investment of their retirement accounts. The plan sponsor, assuming they are serving as the ERISA plan administrator, is responsible for providing the participant disclosure, typically with the assistance of their record-keeper or other service provider.

The third part of the DOL’s disclosure initiative expanded the direct and indirect fee information that must be reported on Schedule C of IRS Form 5500. Schedule C is only required for plans with 100 or more participants and is designed to help plan sponsors gather data on and analyze the fees paid for plan services.

Victory Capital, Inc. is a Registered Investment Advisor. The information in this article is based on data obtained from recognized services and sources and is believed to be reliable. Any opinions, projections or recommendations in this report are subject to change without notice and are not intended as individual investment advice. Not to be used as legal or tax advice.

This material is for information and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be viewed or construed as a recommendation or suggestion that you take a particular course of action with regard to investments. In providing this material, we are not undertaking to give advice in a fiduciary capacity, to you, or to any retirement account(s) for which you act as a fiduciary. 
An investor should consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing or sending money. This and other important information about funds can be found in the fund’s prospectus, or, if applicable, the summary prospectus. To obtain a copy, visit the ETF prospectus page or Mutual Fund prospectus page. Read a prospectus carefully before investing.

Investments involve risk including possible loss of principal. The value of the equity securities in which the fund invest may decline in response to developments affecting individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Dividends are never guaranteed. International investing involves special risks, which include changes in currency rates, foreign taxation and differences in auditing standards and securities regulations, political uncertainty, and greater volatility. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. You may lose money by investing. There are no guarantees the funds will achieve their investment objectives and strategies may be unsuccessful.

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Mutual funds distributed by Victory Capital Advisers, Inc. ("VCA"). ETFs distributed by Foreside Fund Services, LLC. Victory Capital Management Inc. is the adviser to the VictoryShares ETFs and Victory Funds. Victory Capital is not affiliated with Foreside Fund Services, LLC.

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