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is no difference in expense ratios between the fund in the 401k and the fund that anyone can buy in a taxable account. There shouldn't be any difference since they're the same mutual fund. Therefore, I assume the Vanguard's adminstration fee for the 401k is paid by the employer.

Maybe the employer picked it up or maybe not.

My point is there are no way to tell who pays what since the TPA/other fees are not disclosed.

The idea that a 401K platform is some benevolent gift to workers is misguided.

"The typical 401K plan is an absurdly expensive vehicle with fees approaching 3%." Dr. William Bernstein.

For most people the better option is to roll an 401K plan into an IRA (unless there is company stock).

1. IRAs almost always have a lower cost structure.
2. Post-morterm distributions are flexible with IRAs for isntance,some 401K plans only allow lump-sum distributions, ouch.


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