POLITICS

George Miller Sends Pies To Senate To Protest Removal Of 401(k) Fee Disclosure Provision

06/16/2010 05:31 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) delivered 23 pies to members of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday -- each pie had a slice missing to protest committee chairman Max Baucus's removal of Miller's House-approved provision to force the disclosure of hidden 401(k) fees.

"We cannot allow Wall Street to continue to hide these fees from hard-working Americans," said Miller after delivering the pies Wednesday. "A few weeks ago the House acted decisively on behalf of 50 million Americans with 401(k) plans by requiring clear, no-nonsense disclosures of all hidden fees and charges. Unfortunately, the Senate is threatening to cut out these critical provisions."

According the Department of Labor's estimates, a one-percentage point difference in fees reduces overall retirement income by 28 percent over the course of a lifetime.

Federal law does not require Wall Street to tell Americans how much they take out of workers' 401(k) accounts. Miller says it should and he's lobbying hard for the fee disclosure provisions that were part of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act the House passed on May 28th. Changes to the legislation introduced last week by Sen. Max Baucus call for the elimination of those provisions.

The legislation, commonly known as the "tax extenders" bill, would revive several expired domestic aid programs, including extended unemployment benefits. Changes made by the Senate will require the bill to be sent back to the House again for approval.

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) joined Miller at a press conference and called the Senate's changes "half-baked."

Cristina Martin Firvida, director of economic issues for AARP, said "AARP strongly believes Congress should work to provide comprehensive, informative and timely disclosure of fees to 401(k) plan participants and to do so as soon as possible." About half of AARP members are working either full-time or part time, and many are actively saving and planning for their retirement income, she said.

"The Senate should side with middle-class Americans who want to know the facts about fees and charges that threaten their retirement savings, and restore these critical provisions," Miller said.

The front desk accepted the pies in all offices. Watch the delivery footage here:

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