Now you’ll know exactly how much your 401 (k) account is costing you. Last month, a new federal rule took affect requiring 401 (k) providers to disclose their complete fee structure to consumers. A study found the average medium income household with two income-earners pays almost $155,000 over their lifetime in 401 (k) fees. This shrinks your investment returns by nearly a third, according to CNN Money.
However, a shocking 30 percent of Schwab survey respondents said they had no idea they were paying 401 (k) fees. The new rule will help you understand what your plan is really costing you.
What to Expect
As of August 30, new disclosures began going out to mailboxes, showing the fees associated with your account. Although information about these fees has always been available, it wasn’t user friendly or provided without asking. With the new law, information is provided in a consolidated format, at least once annually.
Your 401 (k) plan comes equipped with a variety of fees, which are also called “reductions.” You pay fees for record keeping and administrative costs. Plus, if you’ve taken out a loan against your 401 (k) account, you’ll pay additional fees. And, the smaller your 401(k) plan, the higher your potential costs.
Investment and Fee Calculation Disclosure
In addition to administrative fees, you’ll be able to review your account’s investment fees. Investment fees show as a percentage of the fund’s total value, per $1,000. Like mutual funds, these fees aren’t deducted from your balance, however, will diminish the return of your fund.
The new statement will also show exactly how fees are calculated and assessed. Plus, it shows who is paying these fees. In some cases, it might not be you. Employers can elect to pay 401 (k) fees for their employees.
Fees will vary; depending on your investment type, which is typically passive or aggressive. Passive investments have lower fees. That’s because these types of accounts don’t require an investment manager to select stocks. However, active investments require portfolio managers to make trades, resulting in higher fees.
Expect to pay about 0.5% of your total assets per quarter for passive investments. For active investments, you’ll pay about 1%, according to CNN Money.
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Bonuses and Promotions Available
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