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Are Employees Asking You For Investment Advice?

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) may be about to offer HR professionals some help. DOL has asked for comments on how to implement the portion of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) that allows an employer to offer investment advice to employees without running afoul of ERISA’s prohibited transaction rules—provided that advice includes using a flat-fee arrangement or a certified computer model.

SHRM wants more simplification and clarity. In its comments to DOLon Jan. 30, SHRM recommended preserving an employer’s right to consider a range of different approaches when deciding how to make investment advice available in the workplace.

Until now, most fee disclosure information has been expressed in terms of confusing “basis points” and percentages. Instead of using these complex methods, SHRM is urging DOL to use dollar figures to explain the cost of plan fees over a 10-year period. In addition, SHRM suggested standardizing fee disclosures among providers so that participants can easily compare the fee structures of competing plans.

For more information about these and other public policy issues, please visit
©2007 Society for Human Resource Management
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