Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Mutual fund shakedown

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What’s in your mutual funds? How about the state government’s hand?

Congratulations Wisconsin! Once again, our state is the big red one, first place in socking it to people trying to save for retirement.

In the last biennial budget, Governor Doyle requested the state legislature to approve increasing the fees paid by mutual fund companies selling funds to Wisconsin residents. The legislature saw the governor’s increases and raised him.

The state’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) charges mutual funds a fee for every registration of securities statement and notice of filing. DFI also charges mutual funds an annual filing fee at based upon the dollar amount of securities sold by the mutual fund to Wisconsin residents. The fees are supposed to pay for the operation of DFI, specifically the Securities Division that oversees the mutual funds’ registrations and collects the fees.

Prior to the current budget, the fee for every registration of securities statement and notice of filing was $750, and the annual filing fee had a minimum of $150 and a maximum of $1,500. As of July 1, 2009, the registration fee was increased to $1,500, a 100% increase, and the annual filing fee was increased to a minimum fee of $750 and a maximum of $15,000, a 1,000% increase.

The 1,000% increase in the maximum filling fee makes Wisconsin number one in the country for states that have a set filing fee.

Of course, like many other segregated fees in Wisconsin, the money is not solely being used for the purpose it is collected.

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