401k Fee Transparency Legislation Inches Closer

Last week the House of Representative passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Bill (H.R.4213) aka “Tax Extenders Bill”. The bill is significant because it extends unemployment benefits and small business loan programs that were set to start expiring this week. To prevent lapses, many Congress-watchers expected the Senate to pass this bill before the Memorial Day holiday. But, the bill faced some unexpected hurdles last week. Fiscal conservatives worried about its impact on the deficit. Venture capitalists worried about the new tax treatment of carried interest. Some bargains had to be made and the bill lingered in the House all week, ultimately passing after the Senate’s self-imposed deadline. However, none of the issues raised in the House related to the fee transparency portion of the bill and most believe that this piece of the legislation has enough support in the Senate to remain intact.

If the bill were to pass, this would be yet another big win for George Miller and his staffers, after what has been a nearly 5 year battle to pass fee transparency legislation. But, in Washington, nothing is certain. The bill is likely to be debated in the Senate starting early next week. The extra 10 days to review the bill in detail will elicit some additional lobbying and debate and lead to some additional changes that may need to be reconciled. That said the likelihood of passage has never been higher.

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