Beginning in 2012, the SEC will require all participant-directed retirement plans to provide a detailed quarterly breakdown of all plan cost that participants pay.

That makes the next six months a good time to review investment management cost ratios with takeover plan prospects in your market.

You can tell plan sponsors that total expense ratios of 1 percent or less are becoming the new standard for 401(k) stock funds.

According to the 2011 Investment Company Fact Book by the Investment Company Institute, 27 percent of 401(k) stock funds had total expense ratios below 0.5 percent and another 49 percent had expense ratios from 0.5 percent to 1 percent. Only 24 percent of 401(k) stock funds were more expensive. (Total expense ratio includes fund operating expenses and 12b-1s.) You can view the full 2011 Fact Book here: