WASHINGTON — The Labor Department on Tuesday proposed a new rule that would make it easier for those with 401(k) retirement plans and their employers to locate just what fees and expenses are attached.

The rule would update a 2012 provision on the same subject. But many disclosure forms offered since then have become too lengthy, complex and confusing, department officials said.

“Some are filled with legalese, some have information that’s split between multiple documents,” said Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary for the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. A fee disclosure statement of no more than a page or two is envisioned.

Borzi said the goal is to do something that’s helpful to plan sponsors and participants and not overly burdensome.

She likened the new disclosure forms to “a road map” that can help employers locate fee information and better understand what they are being charged by financial services providers.

She called the 2012 rule “a good first step in bringing transparency to the 401(k) industry and disclosing potential conflicts of interest.”

“However, some employers, particularly small businesses, may be having a hard time locating the required fee disclosures when they are embedded in lengthy or complex documents,” she said.

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