Memo to 401(k) savings plan service providers: You're ignoring the intent of Labor Department disclosure rules when you bury the expenses and fees for those plans in a mountain of paperwork, using language only legal experts can decipher.
Sadly, 401(k) plans may not be the best vehicle to guarantee us a secure retirement that will last through the years. Too many variable factors - the market's performance, the timing of our retirement, the cost of our plan, our asset allocation and so on - can influence whether we're able to save the sobering amount financial planners say we'll need.
Hmmm ... 401(k) plans can help you save money for retirement, but they many also cost you more than you realize. According to a new study from research firm Demos, the average American couple pay nearly $155,000 in 401(k) fees in the course of building up their proverbial nest egg; wealthier couples could pay nearly $278,000. These fees can reduce 401(k) savings by an average of 30 percent.
Workers will be able to learn how much the fees for their 401(k) plans are draining from their accounts when new disclosure rules go into effect this summer.
What do these two things have in common? They're both subject to erosion - of the natural and man-made varieties. Obviously you have more control over your 401(k) than what your favorite beach destination will look like years down the road.
It's not a question that keeps most people up at night -- but maybe it should. Or perhaps a better question is this: did you know that 401(k) plans have fees associated with them? If you didn't, you're in good company. In fact, seven in 10 people didn't realize that 401(k) plan providers charge fees to participants, according to a recent AARP study.
Search AARP Blogs