Median defined contribution total plan costs dropped to 53 basis points for the year ended Dec., 31, reflecting the continuing impact of federal fee-disclosure rules, according to the latest annual fee survey conducted by NEPC.
Total plan costs include investment management, trust and custody, recordkeeping and communications expenses.
The latest results represent a 3.6% drop from the 55 basis points in the previous NEPC survey, which covered a 15-month period that ended March 31, 2012. The previous survey period was extended to 15 months from the traditional 12 months to reflect changes in fees caused by the Labor Department's rules affecting disclosure between provider and sponsors. The rules took effect in July 2012.
According to information on NEPC's website, the latest survey said median record-keeping fees dropped to $80 per participant from $92 in the previous survey. In 2006, when NEPC first conducted the survey, the cost was $118 per participant.
“The steep drop in record-keeping fees has been fueled by new rules aimed at making fees more transparent and (by) well-publicized litigation,” according to NEPC's website.
The latest NEPC survey includes data from 95 DC plans with more than 1 million participants, the website said. The fee data is gathered from record keepers, custodian and trustees. Most of the plans are NEPC clients and most are 401(k) plans.
Ross Bremen, an NEPC partner, could not be reached for comment.