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Michelle Singletary column: On 401(k)s, fees really do matter

Fees can greatly affect the bottom line of your retirement plan — and how much leisure time you will have.
Fees can greatly affect the bottom line of your retirement plan — and how much leisure time you will have.Lara Cerri/Tampa Bay Times

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You may not believe it, but there really are government forces trying to help you become better informed about your workplace retirement plan.

I wonder if their efforts are in vain.

The Department of Labor is moving ahead with a proposal for transparency, opening a 90-day comment period to collect opinions on a proposed guide to help employers find fee information in disclosures they get from the investment companies that manage their 401(k)-type retirement plans.

The department felt it needed to step in because companies were having a hard time locating the required fee information, which often was buried in legalese and multiple documents, said Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant labor secretary for employee benefits security.

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