New 401(k) notices confusing small business owners

Sep 13, 2012

This summer the U.S. Department of Labor put new rules in place to make it easier for 401(k) plan sponsors and participants to understand how much they’re paying in 401(k) fees. But a recent national survey of small business owners conducted by ShareBuilder 401k found many plan sponsors are still feeling confused when it comes to understanding the costs within their plans – and are unprepared for questions from their employees.

“Our survey results suggest many small business owners are still in the dark when it comes to their 401(k) plans and costs, demonstrating our industry has more work to do in disclosing fees transparently and in ways that are easy to understand,” said Stuart Robertson, President of ShareBuilder 401k. “Everyone has a right to know the fees they’re paying for their 401(k) as over the course of a career, paying an extra percentage point can shrink your nest egg by hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Top line findings include:

  • The new reports are going unnoticed by many.
  • The new reports are leading to confusion, not understanding. 
  • Small business owners are taking action, but not ready to switch plans. 
  • Small business owners are unsure of what is a fair 401(k) fee percentage.