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With all the discussion concerning 401(k) taxes, loans, and fiduciary responsibilities of employers, perhaps the most important consideration when investing in a 401(k) is your due diligence efforts to assure the investment is secure and you won't lose your money later to corruption or self dealing by, for example, the service provider. In fact, the institutional investor is at the top of the list where money laundering of investor's money is concerned.

Your employer can be held accountable as a fiduciary under ERISA for suitability factors such as fees, and as an employee you can enforce fiduciary breaches through litigation, but not many employees want to sue their boss.

This thread will focus on methods you use as a 401(k) investor to investigate the service provider you are giving your money to... for example, when you invest in an annuity through an insurance company, state regulations usually require that the service provider owns the plan assets, and you become a class two investor. If something goes wrong, you will get your money back only after all expenses get paid, including the service provider's fees... comments anyone?
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