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Subject:  Re: 401K Inquities Date:  9/28/1998  12:57 PM
Author:  shess Number:  5694 of 102398

In message 5634, Scott said:
BTW, I really dislike the 401(k) concept's implementation for these reasons and others.

In message 5655, Pixy responded:
Fortunately, the fees within 401k plans are receiving extensive review by the federal government at long last. Some are unconscionable and outright gouges of participants due to employer inattentiveness and employee disinterest/ignorance. With luck, the DOL will hold employers' feet to the fire so they become more cost conscious in this area.

Unfortunately, being self-employed, I have no choice but to see this as exactly comparable to the bruhaha (sp? ha!) over health insurance and holding insurer's feet to the fire. The fact that the federal government has to get involved to protect the majority interest is part of the problem! There clearly are better and worse 401(k) plans, but as an employee it can be _very_ hard to find out where your plan stands. All plans claim to be good plans, but even with the best plans it's almost impossible to nail down fees and hidden costs, including a whole range of costs spiritually similar to the "soft money" of the mutual fund arena.

I am positive that most 401(k) participants don't want to know about this stuff. But progress happens at the margins, and so far as I can tell, the 401(k) was created specifically to make the margins obscure. At the time, this may have made sense, but these days, a bit more transparency should be in order. [For instance, what possible employee-centric justification is there for forcing vested 401(k) funds to remain with your employer's 401(k) plan until you change employers?]

"Nurse, I think we need to raise Scott's dosage!",

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