Don’t let corporate executives and investment advisors rob your retirement savings by charging excessive 401(k) fees.
Planning for your future is always a wise investment, and putting your savings into a 401(k) plan can be an important way to prepare for retirement at a low cost. But sometimes the people responsible for managing your 401(k) put their interests ahead of yours.
Reports from the U.S. Department of Labor reveal that plan administrators often fail to protect plan participants from excessive fees, the most common of which are:
- Plan Administration Fees – These costs may be deducted from investment returns or directly billed to your employer, and can include charges for accounting, recordkeeping, legal and trustee services, and customer-related conveniences such as telephone voice response systems, customer service representatives, educational programs, retirement planning software, investment advice, electronic access to plan information, daily valuation, and online transactions.
- Investment Fees – These are generally the largest 401(k) plan cost, and include charges for investment management and related services. They are calculated as a percentage of the assets invested in the plan.
- Management, Investment Advisory, or Account Maintenance Fees – Generally used for administrative expenses, these charges can vary widely, depending on the investment manager and the investments. But just because there is a higher investment management fee doesn’t mean you’re getting a better investment performance or higher returns.
Most of the time, 401(k) plan fees are deducted directly from employees’ investment returns, making the specific amounts difficult to determine and track. The fees usually increase automatically over time, taking an even bigger bite from your hard-earned retirement savings.
Well-known employers such as Anthem, Chevron, Cigna, Fifth Third Bancorp, Oracle, Reliance Trust, and the Vanguard Group have been sued for failing to protect employees from the excessive fees associated with their 401(k) plans, a breach of their fiduciary duty and a violation of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
If you believe your 401(k) plan are excessive, putting more money in managers’ and advisors’ pockets that yours, please contact the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Group to discuss your ERISA rights.