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Financial Planning / Foolish 401(k)s


Subject:  Re: Frontline: The Retirement Gamble Date:  4/25/2013  4:25 PM
Author:  mjolah Number:  25033 of 26116

My point was, and is, we only hear from those who complain. Those who are satisfied never speak up. I deal with 1228 small DC plans (and about 350 DB plans) and went through the whole fee disclosure process last year for each of the DC plans - and I can assure you, we got no complaints - from either the plan sponsor or the advisors representing them.

There are a lot of bundled and unbundled solutions for smaller plans (and I've never heard of a 5% fee - EVER). Hancock, Mass Mutual/Hartford, Principal, Great West, American Funds, ING and others all have suitable products. Some with more bells and whistles, some with less. Most with reasonably open architecture for investment selection (and none with a requirement to use soley "proprietary investment products").

Fidelity through what used to be called the "Fidelity Advisor" line would cater to smaller businesses - and that has now been merged into the regular Fidelity offering. Not sure if there is a minimum - but it's fully bundled, and usually more expensive than an unbundled alternative. Vanguard doesn't provide record keeping service below a threshold - but Vanguard funds are widely available on other platforms through other providers - both bundled and unbundled.

The key to the whole thing is that teh plan sponsor/employer needs to do their homework and shop around for what they need - and not just sign up with teh first saleperson that comes around (or the brother-in-law or nephew or, in one case I saw, his daughter (strictly prohibited!)).

We do business with 78 different record keepers/fund companies - and the prices, features and services vary widely.
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