Investments - No Hidden Fees or Commissions --- Ever!

Our policy: No hidden 401(k) fees & no 401(k) asset-based fees & no commissions, ever!

We at Pension Systems Corporation, distributor of 401k Easy and Run It Yourself 401k, has always worked hard to keep 401(k) plans as affordable as possible for our clients, many being small and very small companies.

Our policy is not to accept any rebates or revenue sharing of fees deducted from our clients' plan assets unless those fees can be returned to the plan, or used by Pension Systems Corporation to offset plan expenses. Entities that provide and support 401(k) plan investments, include mutual funds managers, fund distributors, asset custodians, asset trustees, investment brokers and advisors, and plan administrators and record-keepers. These entities typically earn at least a portion of their compensation from asset-based fees deducted from plan assets.

401k Easy is an exception to the norm in that we do not earn any compensation, either directly or indirectly, from our clients 401(k) plan assets. If rebates are offered, we instead have the rebates returned to the client or directly applied to reducing our clients' costs. Our published prices, available online for all to see, are the only net compensation we collect.

For more information on asset-based fees we recommend reading Study of 401(k) Plan Fees and Expenses by the US Department of Pension Welfare and Benefits.

Special "401k Census" website for statistics-based insights into 401k participation

On an ongoing basis we "blind sample" live investment and contribution data generated from many thousands of 401k investor accounts. This raw data is analyzed and quantified, and the results posted in this special website (www.401kcensus.com) in real time. Only blind sampling of data is performed; no personal identities or personal investment selections are accessed or included in the analysis and postings. 401k Census allows easy comparison of 401k investing profiles for various demographic groups, and visitors learn which classes of investments are the most popular with 401k participants.

Mutual funds are a popular choice with 401k investors

Mutual funds are available both via self-directed brokerage accounts and, obviously, as load or no load mutual fund families (including no-load institutional mutual fund families). The funds are popular with 401k investors for several reasons:

Most mutual fund investments convert quickly and easily to IRA rollover accounts held at the fund company. The investor can keep the same investments and pursue the same investment strategy as with the 401k even after terminating employment.
Mutual funds have exchange privileges that allow investors to transfer money between portfolios within a fund family at no charge or for only a nominal bookkeeping charge.
Mutual funds are priced on a daily basis, and it's easy to order printed statements.
Mutual funds are usually offered in more than one class of shares. Investors can weigh investment amount, anticipated holding period and other relevant factors in deciding which class of shares to purchase.
It's easy for investors to access historical and current investment performance and portfolio details by calling the mutual fund companies directly and speaking with an account service representative or requesting prospectuses on the investments.
There are more than 6,500 mutual fund portfolios available today - that's double the number available just 10 years ago.
An estimated 67 million U.S. households - nearly 25% - invest in mutual funds, either directly or through a company-sponsored 401k plan.
Generation X (ages 18 to 30) has the lowest level of household assets yet the second highest proportion of financial assets in mutual funds.

The flexibility afforded by mutual fund investments is very important to 401k investors, whose goals and retirement savings strategies can change dramatically during the often decades they participate in various 401k plans. Please note, though, that all mutual fund purchases are subject to a three (3) business day holding period; no exchange or liquidation is allowed within this three-day period. No-load, no transaction fee funds redeemed within 30 days of the purchase date may incur certain transaction fees. For regulatory reasons, investing in mutual funds is available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) - hundreds available

Exchange-traded funds -- the fastest-growing investment category

ETFs are increasingly popular today because of their relatively low management fees, when compared to other investments. Paradoxically, ETFs have been slow to catch on as 401k investments because the vast majority of 401k plan providers have not found a way to earn money from them by tacking based on asset-bassed fees. 401k Easy is pleased to offer ETFs to plan sponsors who want to use them, because we NEVER charge hidden or asset-based fees to our plan sponsors or plan participants.

401k Easy never charges any hidden fees, asset-based fees, or commissions.

This is true no matter what kind of investments the plan sponsor selects for his or her company’s 401k; NO hidden fees, NO asset-based fee, NO commissions—EVER! Our compensation is based solely on the annual fees paid by the employer who wants to offer 401k Easy to his or her workforce.

The financial impact of 401k asset-based fees is devastating.

According to non-profit AARP, the typical 401k investor loses approximately $155,000 during the lifetime of his or her 401k plan as a result of paying onerous asset-based fees. With 401k Easy there are never any of asset-based fees for the plan participants or the plan sponsor to contend with.

ETFs in 401k plans present some negatives:

Like all other 401k recordkeeping platforms, 401k Easy is designed to service no-load mutual funds and self-directed brokerage accounts. The typical 401k recordkeeping platform trades no-load mutual fund shares and ETFs only once per day, not inter-day trading ETF investors are familiar with.

Unlike no-load mutual funds, ETFs did not offer fractional share ownership.

Using ETFs in 401k plans results in a small portion of the investors’ 401k contributions going un-invested. Using no-load mutual funds, every penny of the 401k participants’ contributions are invested in full and fractional shares; ETFs do not offer fractional shares.

ETF fees can be more expensive, when compared to “rock-bottom” fees certain no-load index funds.

Self-directed brokerage accounts-unparalleled flexibility for experienced investors

You can provide each of your employees who choose to participate in your 401k plan with a personal, self-directed brokerage account through such firms as Charles Schwab, Ameritrade, eTrade, or Fidelity Investments.

With individual self-directed brokerage accounts, each employee PERSONALLY directs the investment of contributions made to his or her 401k account among the brokerage's population of NO TRANSACTION FEE mutual funds (including no-load institutional mutual funds) or commissionable stocks and bonds. The employee is responsible for any annual account fees plus all stock or bond transaction fees. All fees are deducted from the participant's 401k account by the brokerage selected for the plan.
Your employees have access to investments from multiple foundries with self-directed brokerage accounts, not just investments of the brokerage company. For example, with a Charles Schwab account your employees have access to hundreds no-load mutual funds in addition to Schwab's proprietary family of funds.
With 401k Easy and self-directed brokerage accounts your employees enjoy investment flexibility not found in even in most of today's highest-priced 401k plans.
401k self-directed brokerage accounts are well-suited to Internet-savvy, investment-savvy people.
Your company pays no more for using self-directed brokerage accounts with 401k Easy than for using a family of no-load (and/or institutional) mutual fund investments - and can even opt to offer both - at no extra charge.
To choose a brokerage offering self-directed brokerage accounts for your 401k Easy plan, view our Listing of Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts and contact each that interests you to find out about their particular policies and practices. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance.
Please note that self-directed brokerage accounts ALWAYS include transaction-based and/or asset-based charges, which are deducted directly from the investor's self-directed account. We have no control over these fees and get no portion of them; they are solely the prerogative of the company providing the self-directed brokerage. The plan participant who selects a self-directed brokerage account as a 401k investment option bears the full responsibility for these fees and charges.