How to Cut Expenses From Your 401(k)

Plan particiapnts will become aware of the total costs they are paying after the 3rd quarter statements are mailed. Are you ready for their questions?

Expense Reports
Expense Reports (Photo credit: mynameisharsha)

An even more pertinent question is how much of the expense burden is being borne by your employer. In most cases, you’re paying most of the expenses out of your fund assets because 73 percent of plans surveyed pass along all the costs to participants, the Government Accountability Office said in a report earlier this year.Often employers had no clear idea what their plans cost, the G.A.O. found. They may not have had a clear incentive to fully evaluate them and reduce expenses because they typically aren’t paying for them. The new disclosures may not prompt more employers to pick up the bill for middlemen expenses, but they could lead to paring expenses passed along to you. It also helps if major executives have money invested in the plan; then you can solicit their support for a plan audit and overhaul.

Many plan participants believe that their employer knows best and will provide the best funds available. This is often not true, although plan sponsors are unaware of this fact.

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