Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

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Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby Caboose » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:33 am

Planning conversion of existing 401k from MorganStanley/Hartford/3rd party TPA to a new plan with less cost/less administrative hassles/better fund selection. Have looked at Employee Fiduciary and Costco/Online 401K and reviewed previous threads about these two plans - both are favorable but am considering several others and would appreciate any comments about these other programs -

Sharebuilder 401k http://www.sharebuilder401k.com

BenefitGuard http://www.benefitguard.com

401k Easy Online http://www.401k-easy-online.com

Also would welcome any other recommendations you have experience with.

Thank you.
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby fcirullo » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:42 pm

You've done a good job of researching providers!

Tip: Narrow your list of providers to three providers that offer the index funds that you want in the plan. Next, choose the provider that has the lowest cost.

Or, using the providers you mentioned, show us a side by side comparison complete with costs and the index funds you want to use in the plan.
Frank R. Cirullo | | "It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so." -- | Will Rogers
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby Caboose » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:01 pm

Thank you, fcirullo .
I am in the process of gathering the info on each plan - most of which I can get from their websites, but I want to talk with each one to get some feel for their customer service/responsiveness. So far, I've spoken with EF and with Sharebuilder. I must say the rep at SB has been very responsive, returning the info I've queried via email (after our initial phone conversation) promptly and explicitly. Will query Costco/online401k this week. I've also looked at BenefitGuard website - nice presentation, but not much detail, although they provide access to all major index fund groups (SB and Costco offer only ETFs) and one service they list is not only preparing the 5500, but also signing and submitting it (? "complete 3(38) service") whereas others will prepare the 5500 for us then to sign. Do you know BenefitGuard? I can't find much via Google, other than they used to be G Fiduciary [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek].
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby fcirullo » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:20 pm

Caboose wrote:Do you know BenefitGuard?

No, but on the surface they look competive, and they claim that they don't have any hidden fees.

http://benefitguard.com/pricing/

Employee Costs at BenefitGuard

Monthly Fee: $16.00
Average Investment Portfolio Expense Ratio: 0.24%
Investment Mgmt. & Custodial Fees: 0.04%
Independent Fiduciary Protection: 0.55%
Total Annual Cost on $75,000 balance: $813.00

Employer Costs at BenefitGuard

Ongoing Annual Costs: $0.00
One-Time Setup and Conversion Fee: $0.00
First Time Tax Credit: ($0.00)
Total Setup Fees: $0.00

Again, you won't know which provider is right for your company until you do a side by side comparison that shows what matters most to you in a plan.
First, compare investments and costs because nothing is more important than investment performance after costs.
Next, compare annual costs for the employees because you want happy employees.
Next, compare annual costs for the employer.
Next, compare anything else that's important to you.

Edited on 02.11.2011 to correct a typographical error.
Frank R. Cirullo | | "It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so." -- | Will Rogers
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby alinna » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:36 am

My employer has just gone through the process of 401k provider selection and we're working through the paperwork now to get the plan setup with the Online 401k, although we are a new plan, not a conversion. FYI, the Online 401k (at least the non-Costco version) claims to have access to any mutual fund, not just the ETFs. We'll be using them for Vanguard funds. I've found that they are also very responsive to e-mail/phone queries.
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby Caboose » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:16 am

Thank you - I will provide an update to once I have completed my review of the plans we are considering.
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby lazerasa » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:41 pm

Any updates to your search? I'm in the process of selecting a 401k plan for a small business of 3 employees.
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby Caboose » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:50 pm

Yes - after a very thorough search considering a number of 401k programs and after 3 months of absolute aggravation and frustration dealing with our TPA and with the IRS, we are going to close the 401k and set up a Simple-IRA. As one of our group said, the Simple-IRA is in effect a lite 401k - less expense, no TPA, no IRS reporting - for our small group of 8 employees, it makes all the sense. We acept the lower contribution amount in exchange for "The Majesty of Simplicity" (thank you, Taylor Larimore!).
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Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

Postby niceguy7376 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:05 pm

We went with SIMPLE IRA plan in 2005 for our company of 10 employees out of which only 5 enrolled even with a 3% match. The costs of 401K were too large (around 4K) compared to SIMPLE IRA ($25 per employee or max of $250 total) with FIDELITY.

It is like brokerage account and hence can purchase anything that fidelity offers. Smaller contribution limits but literally no paper work. 3 step contribution by employer into employee accounts each payroll.
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