Plan sponsors, service providers and others in the defined contribution business are asking the Department of Labor to tread lightly as it considers new regulations for brokerage windows. 

At issue is the question of whether self-directed brokerage windows expose plan participants to "imprudent" risk and whether sponsors can safely side-step fiduciary duty in making them available.

As is, the DOL requires sponsors to furnish participants with information on how brokerage windows work, an explanation of fees that are assessed, and a statement on fees charged to participants when they access the windows. 

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.