Fidelity Says Additional Disclosure Will Confuse

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Fidelity Says Additional Disclosure Will Confuse

Post by dlpmpls » Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:26 pm

In an article on Yahoo finance by Laura Rowley called The 401(k) Fee Flimflam Laura writes, "Needless 401(k) fees may be stealing tens of thousands of dollars from your retirement savings over your working life." Then goes on to say, "In a letter to the Department of Labor, Fidelity Investments, the nation's largest plan sponsor, says" ample information is available on fees, and additional disclosure will confuse workers and deter participation: The complexity of the choices presented to participants when deciding to participate in a 401(k) plan already represents a barrier to enrollment. Overwhelming participants with even more information could discourage participation further.

IMO confusion and secrecy is what a lot of the investment industry wants. If we had full disclosure on fees, that would shines too much light on what borders fraud. When you can charge your clients without having to disclose that your doing it or how much your charging there is something terribly wrong.

Does anyone know whats Vanguards position on this proposed legislation to require complete disclosure of 401(k) fees to plan participants?

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Re: Fidelity Says Additional Disclosure Will Confuse

Post by Karl » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:50 am

dlpmpls wrote:Does anyone know whats Vanguards position on this proposed legislation to require complete disclosure of 401(k) fees to plan participants?
I don't know, but I suspect Vanguard would love more fee disclosure. After all, low fees are what makes Vanguard the superior choice. Vanguard is all about low costs and making costs more clear to plan participants would obviously help the low cost leader, at the expense of more expensive leaders like Fidelity.

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Post by bolt » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:08 am

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Post by nisiprius » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:24 am

???? At the risk of yet again disclosing my ignorance... my employer's plan is managed by Fidelity and consists entirely of Fidelity funds.

Other than the expense ratios, which are mostly higher than Vanguard's but not exorbitant, what other fees do I need to be aware of?

I can see my contribution history. To tell the truth I've never bothered to double-check closely, but I believe that a contribution of $X shows up as a fund purchase that has a displayed market value of exactly $X on the day the contribution is made. I admit that I've just assumed that the market value of a share of (say) FTSMX in my 401(k) is exactly the same as the market value of a share of FTSMX in my rollover IRA. Or am I wrong about both of these things?

If we're just talking about expense ratios, Fidelity's disclosure of these in my employer's plan seems adequate, although they don't exactly go out of their way to hit you over the head with them. Let me double-check: I go to http://www.401k.com, log in, click "Investment choices and research," click "FIDELITY US BD INDEX" in the list. "Expenses and fees" are disclosed about 1/3 of the way down on the scrolling screen, and can be jumped to directly on a "Expenses and fees" link on the left.

OK, maybe I'm confused here... it shows an expense ratio of 0.5%, "expense ratio after reductions" of 0.31%, an "expense cap" of 0.32% on the right. But it shows a "management fee" of 0.32% on the left.

Does that mean that they are actually charging me 0.32% + 0.32% = 0.64%, in which case I'd say, yeah, they need better disclosure? Or are they just saying that there is an 0.32% fee overall, same as if I bought it in my brokerage account?
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Adrian Nenu » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:25 am

Problem #1 investor education: more fee transparency is great IF the plan investors know how high fees will impact their performance. They also have to know what constitutes high fees. 90% of investors do not either of these things.

Problem #2 free market competition: there is no way to escape a high fee plan unless you quit your job or get fired. No one is talking about this because it would mean free market competition would push down plan fees and reduce Wall Street's profit margin.

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Post by dlpmpls » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:14 pm

nisiprius wrote:Other than the expense ratios, which are mostly higher than Vanguard's but not exorbitant, what other fees do I need to be aware of?

I don't claim to be an expert on this but the more I learn the more I wish I didn't know.

Most 401(k) Providers Do Not Disclose Revenue Sharing

According to industry regulators, more than 90 percent of 401(k) plan providers receive undisclosed payments from mutual fund companies. This practice is called “revenue sharing."

How To Tell If Your 401(k) Plan Is Telling the Whole Truth

Scan the footnotes and small print of your plan proposal. If it contains the following language (or a variation thereof), chances are you are not getting the full story on fees.“For complete information on fees please request a prospectus.”
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Post by wlpotts » Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:03 am

nisiprius,

I couldn't access your fund options at 401k.com as each company plan has variable expenses that are negotiated by the company and the plan sponsor. They are hidden to use unless we have a plan account passsword and access.
I've never bothered to double-check closely, but I believe that a contribution of $X shows up as a fund purchase that has a displayed market value of exactly $X on the day the contribution is made. I admit that I've just assumed that the market value of a share of (say) FTSMX in my 401(k) is exactly the same as the market value of a share of FTSMX in my rollover IRA. Or am I wrong about both of these things?

If we're just talking about expense ratios, Fidelity's disclosure of these in my employer's plan seems adequate, although they don't exactly go out of their way to hit you over the head with them. Let me double-check: I go to http://www.401k.com, log in, click "Investment choices and research," click "FIDELITY US BD INDEX" in the list. "Expenses and fees" are disclosed about 1/3 of the way down on the scrolling screen, and can be jumped to directly on a "Expenses and fees" link on the left.

OK, maybe I'm confused here... it shows an expense ratio of 0.5%, "expense ratio after reductions" of 0.31%, an "expense cap" of 0.32% on the right. But it shows a "management fee" of 0.32% on the left.

Does that mean that they are actually charging me 0.32% + 0.32% = 0.64%, in which case I'd say, yeah, they need better disclosure?
This is the exactly the problem. The information that is offered to the participant is so confusing, misleading, and many times hidden from the employee that people do not know what they are REALLY PAYING for a investment option.

My employer plan does not disclose to the participant the hidden costs that are on top of the disclosed investment option ER's.
1) Administrative fee .46%
2) Management fee .25%
3) Advisor/educational services fee .25%

Add these three fees (.96%) to whatever your disclosed fund ER selection is and you have your real costs to the employee.

The frustrating part is that the`education' portion of the service blatantly directs persons into the companies proprietory funds that have the highest expense ratios. (They range from 1.38% to 1.67%)

So in reality, the employee unknowing really pays .96% +1.41% for the most conservative investment of their recommended portfolios. The accumulators pay up to a total expense ratio of 2.63%.

I had fought long and hard to have them include a variety of low expense index options at an ER of .41%, but the advisor educates the employee participant that they are risky options and possibly inappropriate for them since they do not have the knowledge of portfolio design and managing investments.

How's that for a catch 22?

Of course, we've since found out by pressure that the advisor also gets a slice of Mutual Fund's ER's as well as the hidden advisor fee.

Bottom line is that each plan is different and negotiated by persons who are supposedly in a fiduciary role. The fact is that many plans are not necessarily fully in the employees best interest.

I hope this helps.

Warren P.

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Post by nisiprius » Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:46 am

wlpotts wrote:The information that is offered to the participant is so confusing, misleading, and many times hidden from the employee that people do not know what they are REALLY PAYING for a investment option.

My employer plan does not disclose to the participant the hidden costs that are on top of the disclosed investment option ER's.
1) Administrative fee .46%
2) Management fee .25%
3) Advisor/educational services fee .25%

Add these three fees (.96%) to whatever your disclosed fund ER selection is and you have your real costs to the employee.
I'm enlightened and chagrinned. Yes, the disclosure needs to be clearer than it is.

As it happens, it doesn't matter much. Though if I'd known I might have rolled over into a IRA at age 59-1/2 instead of waiting until last year!
The frustrating part is that the`education' portion of the service blatantly directs persons into the companies proprietory funds that have the highest expense ratios. (They range from 1.38% to 1.67%)
I have to say that Fidelity's "education" service has always struck me as being very good. Probably not worth the money, but very good.

The retirement planning sessions they gave were comprehensive. Relatively little of it was spent on choosing Fidelity funds. There might have been a bit of a push for the Freedom (target retirement) funds which indeed have high-ish expense ratios, but are also legitimately good choices.
I had fought long and hard to have them include a variety of low expense index options at an ER of .41%, but the advisor educates the employee participant that they are risky options and possibly inappropriate for them since they do not have the knowledge of portfolio design and managing investments.
For what it's worth, this is the list of actual funds my employer's fund offers. I stand my opinion that our plan ain't half bad. Of course it offers umpteen godzillion actively-managed equities funds and the low cost index funds don't exactly stand out, so if you throw a dart at random you'll get a highish-expense-ratio actively managed equities fund.

And FBIDX, a low-cost bond index fund, to my annoyance missed its target index by a mile this year.

Stock Investments
Large Cap
FID BLUE CHIP GROWTH
FID CONTRAFUND
FID EQUITY INCOME
FID GROWTH & INCOME
FID GROWTH COMPANY
FID OTC PORTFOLIO
FIDELITY MAGELLAN
SPARTAN US EQ INDEX
FID MID CAP STOCK
FIDELITY LOW PR STK
FID SMALL CAP VALUE
FID DIVERSIFIED INTL
FID ASSET MGR 50%
FID FREEDOM 2000
FID FREEDOM 2005
FID FREEDOM 2010
FID FREEDOM 2015
FID FREEDOM 2020
FID FREEDOM 2025
FID FREEDOM 2030
FID FREEDOM 2035
FID FREEDOM 2040
FID FREEDOM 2045
FID FREEDOM 2050
FID FREEDOM INCOME
FIDELITY GOVT INCOME
FIDELITY US BD INDEX
FIDELITY RETIRE MMKT
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confusion

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:29 am

Some people are confused because some employers - including some very large employers - pick up 100% of 401k fees, so what you pay is the expense ratio of the funds, and nothing else. With other employers there can be all kinds of hidden charges, of course.

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Post by robot » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:34 am

nisiprius wrote: Does that mean that they are actually charging me 0.32% + 0.32% = 0.64%, in which case I'd say, yeah, they need better disclosure? Or are they just saying that there is an 0.32% fee overall, same as if I bought it in my brokerage account?

I thought I was getting a great deal with an expense ratio of .05%. But my 401k's webpage lists a "management fee" of .05% along with the .05% ER. So, for .10% total fees, it's actually worse than the Vanguard Total Stock Market's Admiral shares of .09%!

This really puts some perspective on those funds that have a 1% ME + 1.2% ER == 2.2% total fees!

Yes. More disclosure is needed!

EDIT: The prospectuses that I've checked indicate that there is a management fee built into the expense ratio. So,
1) Is there an additional 401k admin fee, that is also called a "management fee" added to the ER?
2) Perhaps there are other hidden fees that I haven't found yet? (and how would I find them?)

Maybe I'll just have to ask the 401k administrator?

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Post by dlpmpls » Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:32 pm

robot wrote:I thought I was getting a great deal with an expense ratio of .05%. But my 401k's webpage lists a "management fee" of .05% along with the .05% ER. So, for .10% total fees, it's actually worse than the Vanguard Total Stock Market's Admiral shares of .09%!

This really puts some perspective on those funds that have a 1% ME + 1.2% ER == 2.2% total fees!

Yes. More disclosure is needed!

EDIT: The prospectuses that I've checked indicate that there is a management fee built into the expense ratio. So,
1) Is there an additional 401k admin fee, that is also called a "management fee" added to the ER?
2) Perhaps there are other hidden fees that I haven't found yet? (and how would I find them?)

Maybe I'll just have to ask the 401k administrator?
Once again I will state I'm not an expert so I could be wrong but from the research that I have done I believe the management fee is included in the ER, what's not included is turnover costs and IRA fees which can put your total costs at about 3%.

Tighter Rules on 401(k) Fee Disclosure
Under the new rule, all services furnished to a plan, and all compensation that is to be received by the service plan provider—both direct and indirect, must be disclosed in writing. Any possible conflicts of interest that might affect the performance of the plan must be disclosed. In addition to the rule, the department also proposed a class exemption to provide relief to plan fiduciaries who unwittingly enter into contracts that do not comply with these disclosure obligations.


Part of the problem is that fees are charged as a percentage of assets
As 401(k) accounts get larger, the amount deducted for overhead costs grows bigger and bigger -- far outpacing the cost of administration.
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Post by RobertH » Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:16 pm

In the last two places that I worked, 401(k) plans offered in cooperation with ING contained language in the back of the disclosure package indicating that there were administrative fees in addition to the fees in the prospectus for the funds.

In both cases, getting the full picture for each fund required calling the 401(k) administrator; no one at the company understood the full picture. In these cases, Fidelity's claim to the Department of Labor that "ample information is available on fees" was dead wrong.

In the last company, the fees added on top of the Fund fees in the prospectus ranged from nothing (for funds that already charged fees of 0.92% or higher) to 0.7% (for a fund whose prospectus fee was 0.4%). The fund choices were good, but when the additional fees were taken into consideration, only a few choices remained attractive.

Robert

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Post by dlpmpls » Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:02 pm

If you think a plan is faulty, volunteer to serve on the investment advisory committee. If you cannot bring about the changes you want, write a letter to the regional office of the U.S. Department of Labor outlining your concerns and asking for aid. You'll boost your chances for success if other employees join you in expressing concerns. If all else fails, contact the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration, which bears ultimate responsibility for regulating employee benefits, including pensions. EBSA's Web site gives instructions for making complaints, and offers several other tips on how to monitor your plan for abuse. You can also call the EBSA at 1-866-444-EBSA (3272).

There's an old saying, "the squeaky wheel gets greased".

Expensive retirement plans
An extra percentage point in expenses over a long career can easily reduce your final 401(k) balance by tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lets say you invest $500 a month in a 401(k) plan for 25 years. If you earn 9% a year (compounded monthly), you should end up with about $561,000. If you lose a percentage point of earnings to fees, your balance after 25 years will slip to $476,000, a difference of $85,000.

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Post by downshiftme » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:53 pm

My employer plan does not disclose to the participant the hidden costs that are on top of the disclosed investment option ER's.
1) Administrative fee .46%
2) Management fee .25%
3) Advisor/educational services fee .25%
My employer plan is similar. However it's not just the employees who have a hard time understanding these fees. I have combed through the literature provided and found the fee disclosure and brought it to the attention to the company 401k committee. They spent weeks telling me I was wrong, then admitted I was right but they weren't aware of the fees when they approved the plan, and finally they are "investigating" what I have discovered. In the past "investigations" of this kind result in no action. I've been completely respectful and done all my meetings in private to avoid embarassing anyone but my boss has told me he's been approached by HR since I am a troublemaker who seems unhappy with company policy and benefits. This is pretty much a warning that I better drop this line of questioning. And no, they are NOT interested in my participation on the 401k committee.

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Post by Adrian Nenu » Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:48 am

My employer plan is similar. However it's not just the employees who have a hard time understanding these fees. I have combed through the literature provided and found the fee disclosure and brought it to the attention to the company 401k committee. They spent weeks telling me I was wrong, then admitted I was right but they weren't aware of the fees when they approved the plan, and finally they are "investigating" what I have discovered. In the past "investigations" of this kind result in no action. I've been completely respectful and done all my meetings in private to avoid embarassing anyone but my boss has told me he's been approached by HR since I am a troublemaker who seems unhappy with company policy and benefits. This is pretty much a warning that I better drop this line of questioning. And no, they are NOT interested in my participation on the 401k committee.
- another good example why employers should be completely removed from 401k plan decision making & management. Many are incapable of acting in a fiduciary manner and ERISA enforcement is toothless. 401k investors should have full control over their own money.

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Post by dlpmpls » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:53 am

Adrian Nenu wrote:- another good example why employers should be completely removed from 401k plan decision making & management. Many are incapable of acting in a fiduciary manner and ERISA enforcement is toothless. 401k investors should have full control over their own money.

Adrian
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I've been thinking the same thing myself Adrian, I can open up an IRA with Vanguard for a fraction of the cost that my company gets charged to have retirement plan. I'm only one person, they have 20+ employees. Because co-workers choose to not educate themselves on investing my company hires a IRA that charges 1% to comes in and give a half hour speech once a year. Promoting high fee insurance sub-account funds with 12 1b fees. I see no valve in their service.

I do believe the tide is changing with regard to enforcement of ERISA regulations. With greater access to information now and government trying to get people to save more because of the financial problems of SS there is slow consensus that they can no longer let 401k providers hide fees and 401k administrators must be better in their fiduciary responsibilities.

401(k) Plan Fees Litigation: Is The Dam Breaking? A Slew of Class Action Lawsuits Alleging Shady Fee Practices Roils 401(k) Sponsors
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Post by dlpmpls » Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:00 pm

CAUTION SIDE EFFECTS FROM READING FURTHER--may include nausea, contempt, disgust, sever headaches, tremors, and convulsions. this list is not all inclusive.
Ok tremors and convulsions maybe a stretch but others are very possible. In the libaray under Retirement and tax deferred investing There is a paper called Uncovering and Understanding Hidden Fees in Qualified Retirement Plans 2nd Edition – Published February 1, 2007 , I can't recommend strongly enough that all 401K participants read this. Most of the information the average person can understand.

John Bogle and one of our published authors Richard Ferri are both cited in this paper. John Bogle says “The financial system put(s) up zero percent of the capital and (takes) zero percent of the risk and (gets) almost 80 percent of the return, and you, theinvestor in this long time period, an investment lifetime, put up 100 percent of thecapital, (take) 100 percent of the risk, and (get) only a little bit over 20 percent ofthe return. That is a financial system that is failing investors because of thosecosts of financial advice and brokerage, some hidden, some out in plain sight that investors face today. So the system has to be fixed.”

There is so much excellent information in this paper a few more excerpts are necessary.

A recent Knight Ridder News Service article by Todd Mason quoted John Bogle as saying “The average expense ratio of 1.3% would double if the funds disclosed trading costs.” “William Harding, an analyst with Morningstar, says the average turnover ratio for managed domestic stock funds is 130 percent.” If turnover is 130%, then trading costs average 1.3% of assets, coupled with the average fund management fee of 1.3%, the base fund cost for a conventional growth fund held in a 401(k) is 2.6% of assets...

A clear example of the attitude prevalent in the 401(k) industry is illustrated by the statement of Fidelity’s spokesperson quoted in a Wall Street Journal article covering a lawsuit filed in late 2006 against Fidelity Investments and Deere & Company: “The Fidelity spokesman said the company believes it provides ‘valuable services to 401(k) clients for whom Fidelity serves as a record keeper and a trustee. We believe that the fees... collected by Fidelity for those services are reasonable.’ He added that ‘Fidelity retail mutual funds consistently rank against their... peers as among the lowest priced mutual funds." The subtle error in this statement is that it is not the seller, but the buyer, who should determine whether fees are reasonable. In a free market, where buyers and sellers have equal access to all relevant information, vendors do not dictate to consumers the costs they should or will bear. Defying fundamental economic principles, the 401(k) industry has temporarily gotten away with dictating prices because information is not fully disclosed, and is not available equally to buyers and sellers.

I had no idea the the problem of hidden fees/costs was so pervasive, and out of control. I ask myself why do so few people who give us investment advice not speak up and challenge this practice? The only answer I can come up with is greed. I feel a headache coming on.

Dan
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Post by robot » Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:32 pm

dlpmpls wrote: A recent Knight Ridder News Service article by Todd Mason quoted John Bogle as saying “The average expense ratio of 1.3% would double if the funds disclosed trading costs.” “William Harding, an analyst with Morningstar, says the average turnover ratio for managed domestic stock funds is 130 percent.” If turnover is 130%, then trading costs average 1.3% of assets, coupled with the average fund management fee of 1.3%, the base fund cost for a conventional growth fund held in a 401(k) is 2.6% of assets...
Isn't this "cost" actually just a drag on the return of the fund?

For an index fund, an index like the Russell 2000 has high turnover (according to David Swensen). So, we'd see that the theoretical return of the index would be less than the actual return.

For active funds, it would be harder to tell, since the manager could cover up the turnover cost with higher returning, but more risky investments.

But I don't see how this is directly related to 401ks. I thought the issue was that there may be an additional undisclosed, or poorly disclosed, 401k management fee, beyond the ER reported in the prospectus?

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Post by dlpmpls » Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:56 pm

robot wrote:
dlpmpls wrote: A recent Knight Ridder News Service article by Todd Mason quoted John Bogle as saying “The average expense ratio of 1.3% would double if the funds disclosed trading costs.” “William Harding, an analyst with Morningstar, says the average turnover ratio for managed domestic stock funds is 130 percent.” If turnover is 130%, then trading costs average 1.3% of assets, coupled with the average fund management fee of 1.3%, the base fund cost for a conventional growth fund held in a 401(k) is 2.6% of assets...
Isn't this "cost" actually just a drag on the return of the fund?

For an index fund, an index like the Russell 2000 has high turnover (according to David Swensen). So, we'd see that the theoretical return of the index would be less than the actual return.

For active funds, it would be harder to tell, since the manager could cover up the turnover cost with higher returning, but more risky investments.

But I don't see how this is directly related to 401ks. I thought the issue was that there may be an additional undisclosed, or poorly disclosed, 401k management fee, beyond the ER reported in the prospectus?
I recommend you read the paper and you will understand. That said, when you choose a fund in your 401K part of that decision should be based on turnover costs, if that cost is not disclosed how can you make a fully informed decision?, hence directly related to 401K's and yes there are many more undisclosed costs.

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Post by robot » Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:24 pm

dlpmpls wrote:
robot wrote:
dlpmpls wrote:
I recommend you read the paper and you will understand. That said, when you choose a fund in your 401K part of that decision should be based on turnover costs, if that cost is not disclosed how can you make a fully informed decision?, hence directly related to 401K's and yes there are many more undisclosed costs.

Dan
In my case, I've selected all index funds in my 401k, so I can easily compare the fund returns to the index returns. (I can go to Yahoo finance or Morningstar and look at the 2007 return for VTSMX and compare it to the benchmark.)

What I don't do is verify that there aren't hidden fees for 401k administration somewhere. I don't even know where to check.

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Post by dlpmpls » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:29 pm

robot wrote:What I don't do is verify that there aren't hidden fees for 401k administration somewhere. I don't even know where to check.
How To Tell If Your 401(k) Plan Is Telling the Whole Truth

Scan the footnotes and small print of your plan proposal. If it contains the following language (or a variation thereof), chances are you are not getting the full story on fees.“For complete information on fees please request a prospectus.”

Dan
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Post by georgepds » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:02 pm

dlpmpls wrote:
..I've been thinking the same thing myself Adrian, I can open up an IRA with Vanguard for a fraction of the cost that my company gets charged to have retirement plan. ..
I agree the fees should be disclosed, and that they are often too high. That said there are additional reporting an accounting that increase 401k fees (loans come to mind)

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Post by dlpmpls » Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:39 pm

georgepds wrote:
dlpmpls wrote:
..I've been thinking the same thing myself Adrian, I can open up an IRA with Vanguard for a fraction of the cost that my company gets charged to have retirement plan. ..
I agree the fees should be disclosed, and that they are often too high. That said there are additional reporting an accounting that increase 401k fees (loans come to mind)
I don't know how much more extra reporting there is in regard to 401K vs IRA's. I know vanguard sends me statements and to the IRS for my IRA that I have with them. All I'm saying is if I'm being charged for something then I should have the right to know how much and for what.

I recently read an article about an 401K provider/fund company where they are using the RICO Act, which I believe would allow them to be awarded much more in damages. Makes me smile.

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Post by robot » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:43 pm

bolt wrote:Don't you get a statement every once in a while? You dont really want to be a robot do you? No I'm not getting snippy but C'mon.....Your the only one that can do it and it dosent sound like you give a rats arse ,,, Good Luck!
Berrr, wheep. What's wrong with being a robot? :)

The statements don't indicate anything about an administrative fee. But what I do see is that my cost per share varies around +/- .005%. It's rarely the Yahoo Finance NAV at close. I looked at a few buys, but haven't noticed an obvious pattern.

Nothing from the 401k administrator yet.

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wlpotts
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Post by wlpotts » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:41 am

Robot,

One way they charge you unknowingly, is that they remove small percentages of your previously purchased fund share amounts.

There are many other ways but this one is easy to track over time. Other plan sponsors fee you in other subtle ways.

Warren P.
Some have it. Some don't. Either way, here I am!

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