The American Institute of CPAs has written a letter to the Labor Department supporting a proposal to require retirement plan sponsors and administrators to annually disclose fees and expenses to participants.

The AICPA recommended that the Labor Department work with the Internal Revenue Service to create a sample disclosure notice with standard paragraphs that could be customized to a particular plan. The standardized format would help retirement plan participants compare plan expenses and fees as they move from one job to another.

The AICPA's comments came in response to proposed regulations from the Labor Department for fee and expense disclosures for participant-directed individual account plans such as 401(k) plans. The AICPA also recommended that the Labor Department extend the effective date until at least Jan. 1, 2010.

The institute also said the Labor Department should extend the deadline for providing disclosures to 30 days after a participant becomes eligible for the plan, or coordinate the timing with the timeframe for furnishing summary plan descriptions (90 days after becoming eligible).

The AICPA also wants the Labor Department to clarify whether the proposal applies to certain types of Individual Retirement Accounts that provide for employer contributions - that is, Simplified Employee Pension Retirement Account and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees plans. The institute also asked the Labor Department to exclude smaller plans from gathering information on investment options, and it wants the regulations to clarify the terms "participant" and "beneficiary."

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