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Author: W401K Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76398  
Subject: Re: annuities inside a 401K? Date: 12/30/1999 11:17 AM
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Unfortunately its not unusual. Your husband's 401k is with an insurance company, MetLife, Aetna, Cigna, Principal Financial, etc, etc.
There is NO advantage whatsover to having a 401k in an annuity. Annuties by themselves offer tax deferred growth, but so do 401k plans. You are getting a duplication of benefits. For this you are paying abnormally high fees because annuities tack on mortality expenses and extra administrative fees. The double whammy is there isn't much you can do about it. Once your employer signed on for this the Plan will be exposed to surrender charges if they try to switch providers within a 7 year time span. This is the usual sliding scale for surrender charges, the earlier you bail out the more you pay. In addition to the higher fees, you can't track your investments in the newspaper or on internet sites like the Fool or Morningstar. You see insurance companies don't offer the mutual funds, they pool the money and then invest in other outside mutual funds that your employer could have gone to directly. The extra middleman adds to the expense. If someone reading this knows of any advantage of having a 401k with an insurance company, please post a response. The best bet for a 401k is to go direct to a fund family, the next best is a bank that waives loads and only collects 12b-1 fees.
I hope this helps explain it. Even though there really is no justifiable explanation in my view.

Bill
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