I am a Financial Advisor, and 12b-1 fees are very important incentive to attract, retain, and service my clients' mutual fund investments. There have been many times that I have taken over accounts that other brokers started (and they were paid initially) - where I only collect the 12b-1 trails. This works out great for the client - they get a Financial Advisor that will pay attention to their accounts, and I get a small trail for my efforts. Other times, I have liquidated a fund and reinvested the proceeds at NAV into a new fund. Most of the time, the only compensation is the 12b-1 fee.
I understand that the SEC is reviewing 12b-1 fees against the backdrop of other issues within the mutual fund industry. Please know that the 12b-1 fee is important to me and my clients - don't eliminate it.
Raymond James Financial Services, Inc (Member NASD/SIPC)