Understanding the Average Costs for 401k plans

By enacting 401k changes that will lead to more transparency in the 401k industry, the Department of Labor will insist that more 401k account holders know exactly what they are paying in 401k fees and expenses. Once account holders have this information, understanding if these 401k costs are reasonable (more or less expensive than other options) is the natural next step.

Here is the 401k expense data recorded as a % charged to a 401k account each year based on the size of the company 401k plan. Collected by Deloitte in 2009:

Total Plan Assets Average % of total 401k plan costs
>$500M .41
$100MM - $500MM .61
$10MM – $100MM .78
$1MM - $10MM 1.27
<$1MM 1.89

For a more in-depth study of these average 401k fees. See the Deloitte study: