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Pricing and Price Comparisons

401(k) Easy run-it-yourself 401ks save you money

 

 
1)

401k Plan Fee Schedule

2)

The 401(k) Easy setup fee is a one-time charge

3)

401k Comparisons and the True Impact of Hidden 401k Fees

4)

Everything is included with 401(k) Easy

5)

Cost Comparions Worksheet

6)

60-day money-back guarantee

7)

Uncle Sam wants to help you launch your 401k

8)

Free technical support

9)

Free 401k plan conversions

10)

Free IRS reporting help

11)

No trustee fees

12)

Watch for hidden fees

13)

Our Policy Regarding All Asset-Based fees

14)

Even taxes, shipping and handling are included

Save Money on 401k Plans with 401(k) Easy

[topic 1]

401k Plan Fee Schedule

Our IRS-approved plan documents allow the employer to set a dollar or percentage amount that is deducted monthly from employee-participants' accounts to help defray 401k Easy annual fees. The amount deducted is set by the employer, and disclosed to employee-participants.

Plan Size

401(k) Easy Price

1 eligible employee (plus spouse)

$395 a year — complete

2-4 eligible employees

$495 a year — complete

5-10 eligible employees

$695 a year — complete

11-15 eligible employees

$795 a year — complete

16-20 eligible employees

$995 a year — complete

21-25 eligible employees

$1195 a year — complete

26-30 eligible employees

$1395 a year — complete

31-35 eligible employees

$1595 a year — complete

36-40 eligible employees

$1795 a year — complete

41-45 eligible employees

$1995 a year — complete

46-50 eligible employees

$2195 a year — complete

more than 50 eligible employees

$2195 + $200 for each additional 5 eligible employees

*All new clients are charge a $495 plan set-up fee. This set-up fee is charged one time only, in the first year of service. The pricing above is for the first year of service only. Renewal fees may be adjusted; no set-up fees charged in subsequent years.

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[topic 2]

The 401(k) Easy Setup Fee Is a One-Time Charge

One of the great things about 401(k) Easy is its adaptability. Our IRS-approved prototype 401k plan includes a host of customization choices (see below), and our 401k plan administration software includes additional customizable administrative features.

-- Our 401k experts can help you understand your 401(k) Easy plan and 401k plan administration options, so you can make educated decisions as to which are most desirable for your company and its 401k plan.

-- Our technical experts code your 401k software with your customization decisions, empowering the software to streamline your plan's 401k administration and automate many of its functions. Plan administration via 401(k) Easy takes most small businesses less than 15 minutes a month — and saves them thousands of dollars a year.

-- The charge for setting up your customized 401k plan and coding your plan administration software is $495. This fee does NOT vary with plan size, and it is charged ONLY at your plan's outset, not in any subsequent years.

-- If in subsequent years you decide you want to make substantive changes to your 401k plan, that's no problem. Please see below under Future Changes.

401(k) Easy customizable 401k plan items include…

-- Age, length of service, and other 401k plan participation requirements

-- Automatic 401k enrollment options

-- Employer matching, profit-sharing and/or qualified non-elective contribution rates, if any

-- 401k vesting schedules for relevant employer contributions

-- 401k loan availability

-- 401k discrimination testing/401k compliance testing options, including options associated with running your 401k plan as a safe harbor 401k plan, if you so choose

See our 401k Order Form for the options currently available under each of these 401k customization items, or go to our Plan Options page to view a chart listing the 401k options currently allowed by the IRS and the options we typically recommend for most 401(k) Easy small business 401k plans.

Future Changes
You don't ever have to feel locked in to your 401k plan customization decisions with 401(k) Easy. For instance, some companies choose to exclude 401k loans in the early years of their plan, then add the option in at a later date.

-- We can modify your 401k plan and 401k plan administration software for you at any time. However, we reserve the right to charge for changes initiated by you that require us to recustomize your 401k software and/or official 401k documents. The maximum charge for recustomization work is $300 per instance.

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With 401(k) Easy you save an average of 60% to 90% — every year!

According to HR Investment Consultants in Towson, MD, publisher of the "401k Provider Directory, "the cost of running a 401k plan with 25 participants and $750,000 in assets can range from as little as $6,750 per year to as much as $20,000, depending on which 401k vendor you select. (Sources: Nation's Business, September 1998, Myers, Randy "Your 401k Plan May Cost You Too Much." Business Week Online, July 2000, Brenner, Lynn "A Wealth of Choices.")

-- A 401(k) Easy 25-participant plan costs only $1395/yr (plus the first-year-only, one-time setup fee of $495)

-- The national average for a 25-participant plan is a whopping $6,750/yr to $20,000/yr (plus plan setup fees and minus the flexible 401k options that are all free with 401(k) Easy.

[topic 3]

401k Comparisons and the True Impact of Hidden 401k Fees

Many 401k plans contain significant hidden fees. This is especially true of 401k plans offered to small companies, where it is easier to hide fees from small business owners, who are busy running their businesses and do not have the time or staff to review all the legal mumbo-jumbo of setting up a new plan or reviewing plan documents.

These hidden fees are being lifted from the back pockets of 401k plan participants. The US Department of Labor is trying to force 401k plan providers (banks, mutual fund companies, insurance companies, brokerages, etc.) to come clean about these hidden fees. But there is significant lobbying power at play to stymie the government's effort to force comprehensive 401k fee disclosure.

Here are the facts:

According to a recent study by the ICI (Investment Company Institute) and Deloitte titled, "Defined Contribution / 401(k) Fee Study". the average 401k plan has hidden fees of 0.72% per year. That may not seem like much, but it costs the average participant about $11,000 in hidden fees for the lifetime of his or her 401k. These fees are extracted directly from the 401k participant's account. In their study, ICI and Deloitte call these hidden fees "all-in" fees. The average hidden "all-in" fee of 0.72% equates to $350 per year, extracted from participants' accounts.

For small 401k plans that cover less than 20 employees and less than $1 million in total assets, the hidden "all-in" fee situation is much worse. For small 401k plan participants, hidden "all-in" fees can jump from 0.79% to a whopping 1.89%, or up to $920 per plan participant per year! For small plan participants, this can mean paying an astounding $28,000 in hidden fees for the lifetime of his or her 401k. See pages 6, 16, 19 and 20 of ICI/ Deloitte report by clicking the report cover. If you are selecting a 401k for your employees, did you know they could be unknowingly losing $350 to $920 a year in hidden fees?

In most 401k plans, large and small, the employer pays the 401k plan's annual record keeping fees. These fees vary; below is a representative sample of annual record keeping fees:

401k fees for a company with 15 employees & $1 million in assets...
 401k Easy (www.401k-easy.com) = $795
 401k Easy Online (www.401k-easy-online.com) = $995
 The Online 401k (www.theonline401k.com) = $1,100
 Wellington 401k (www.wellington401k.com) = $1,350
 Employee Fiduciary (www.employeefiduciary.com) = $1,500
 Sharebuilder 401k (www.sharebuilder401k.com) = $1,080


...and how prices skyrocket when the "all-in" and hidden fees are disclosed...
 401k Easy : $795 + [No hidden "all-in" fees] = $795 per year complete!
 401k Easy Online : $995 + [No hidden "all-in" fees] = $995 per year
 The Online 401k : $1,100 + ["all-in" fee of 0.72% to 1.89%
of $1 million]
= $8,300 to $20,000 per year
 Wellington 401k : $1,350 + ["all-in" fee of 0.72% to 1.89%
of $1 million]
= $8,550 to $20,250 per year
 Employee Fiduciary : $1,500 + ["all-in" fee of 0.72% to 1.89%
of $1 million]
= $8,700 to $20,400 per year
 Sharebuilder 401k : $1,080 + ["all-in" fee of 0.65% of $1 million] = $7,580 per year

So it's not rocket science to understand why many plan providers in the 401k industry are blowing smoke to make any discussion about hidden or "all in" 401k fees confusing and bewildering. There is a great deal of money at stake, and all this smoke clouds the fact that many small employers are unknowingly offering their employees 401k plans laden with hidden fees.

Hidden and "all-in" 401k fees are getting noticed by the news media and the legal profession via class-action law suits, and some 401k plan providers that made fortunes mining hidden fees are now scrambling to cover their tracks. They are generating the kind of PR confusion many of us remember from years past, when major tobacco companies tried to explain to Americans that smoking was not hazardous their health. Many in the 401k industry are launching the same kind of PR assault, confusing and clouding the issue, but what is really at stake is the end of their 401k hidden fee gravy train, pure and simple.

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[topic 4]

Everything is Included with 401(k) Easy

401(k) Easy includes EVERYTHING you need to provide your company with a great 401k plan right from your basic PC computer in about 10 to 15 minutes a month (for most small business 401k plans).

401(k) Easy includes…

An IRS-approved prototype 401k plan
Our IRS-approved prototype 401k plan is replete with 401k plan customization options that enable your company to offer a 401k plan from which your employees can truly benefit.

401k software
We customize our powerful yet easy-to-use 401k plan administration software to the exact 401k plan and 401k plan administration customization options you choose for your plan. The customization information works in conjunction with the up-to-date IRS and other governing regulations programmed into your software to streamline your 401k's operation while keeping you apprised of your plan's health and growing wealth. You receive an updated software package every year with built in safeguards barring you from running your 401k plan under the wrong year's regulations.

401k help
You receive free, professional help with understanding your 401k plan and 401k plan administration customization options as well as with running your 401k plan with 401(k) Easy. Plan operation help includes a fantastic 401k User's Guide as well as free technical support.

401k investments
401(k) Easy lets you choose both the investment approach (self-directed brokerage accounts and/or no-load mutual fund family) and the specific investment provider(s) for your 401k plan. No other 401k plan offers greater investment flexibility. Visit our Investments pages for specifics, including listings of potential investments.

Plan-specific 401k forms and materials
Our plan-specific 401k participation and employee education forms and materials explain 401k concepts (401k loans, 401k enrollment, 401k investing, etc.) to your employees while gathering the data needed from them for you to run your company plan. Included is an introductory slide show in convenient video format for introducing your employees to 401k plans and the plans' tremendous savings potential.

IRS reporting help
Our 401k FedForms website (www.401kfedforms.com) tells you which federal reporting forms are relevant to your particular 401k plan, then shows you annotated versions of each relevant Form or Schedule (Form 5500, 1099-R, etc.) so you know exactly where within your 401k software to locate needed information. 401k FedForms even includes ready-to-complete Summary Annual Report PDFs that take just moments to fill in!

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[topic 5]

Click the US Department of Labor 401(k) Cost Comparison Worksheet below for a printable PDF version.

 


[topic 6]

60-day Money-Back Guarantee

401(k) Easy comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee on everything but the $495 one-time plan and software customization fee. Because this setup fee is non-refundable, we created a fully functioning demo version of our 401k software for people to try out before they order their actual 401(k) Easy plan and 401k plan administration system.

-- The 401k software demo is just like "real" 401(k) Easy plan administration software, only it has been customized to service a fictitious company's 401k plan. Nearly every 401k administration feature is activated, and there's an interactive tour to help get you started. You'll really get a feel for if a run-it-yourself 401k is the right approach for your company.

-- Try out our 401k software for FREE: Download our 401k software demo from this website, or...

-- Have us mail you a copy on CD-ROM. There's a $35 fee to cover our costs, but if you thereafter purchase 401(k) Easy we'll apply the 401k demo fee to your purchase.

Our goal at 401(k) Easy is to ensure that all our clients and their employees have 401k plans they feel good about. If your company purchases 401(k) Easy and then down the road decides the run-it-yourself approach is on the right approach for you, give us a call: We can convert your 401(k) Easy plan into a traditional, full-service plan at any time. With 401(k) Easy, you're never locked into anything.


[topic 7]

Uncle Sam wants to help you launch your 401k

Under federal regulations, the $495 one-time set-up fee your company pays for a 401(k) Easy may be refunded in the form of a federal tax credit. Most new 401(k) Easy plans qualify to receive this dollar-for-dollar refund, but there are some restrictions. If you are interested in receiving this tax credit, please consult your tax advisor.

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[topic 8]

Free Technical Support

401(k) Easy includes an easy-to-read yet comprehensive 401k User's Guide set that tells you how to run your company 401k plan using 401(k) Easy.

-- The Quick Guide helps you get your plan up and running almost as soon as you receive your customized software (you just need to input — or import — some employee data).

-- The accompanying 401k Help CD-ROM contains background detail and instructions on transactions not common to typical monthly 401k administration.

-- If you ever have any questions, we're here to help! Our tech support phone number is listed at the front of your 401(k) Easy User's Guide, or you can e-mail us at support@401k-easy.com.

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[topic 9]

Free 401k Plan Conversions

401(k) Easy can accommodate new or already existing 401k plans of any size, and there's no charge for us to convert an already-existing 401k plan for use with 401(k) Easy.

-- Visit our Converting Existing Plans page for more information.

-- See our 401k Conversion Plan Order Form for a listing of plan customization options available with 401(k) Easy. (If you have specific questions about converting your existing 401k plan for use with 401(k) Easy, submitting an Order Form and with "Unsure. Please contact..." buttons clicked, where applicable, is the most expedient way for us to serve you, even if all you want at the moment is answers to conversion-related questions. Submitting an Order Form IN NO WAY obligates you to actually placing an order, and no money changes hands; the Order Forms simply gather the data we need to accurately answer your 401k-related questions.

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[topic 10]

Free IRS Reporting Help

401(k) Easy includes free help with your 401k-related federal reporting.

-- Our 401k FedForms website shows you annotated versions of the relevant year's 401k-related federal reporting forms and schedules (Form 1099-R, the 5500 series, etc.) and tells you which are relevant to your particular 401k plan, when each is due to the IRS, plus additional information.

-- 401k FedForms contains both popup instructions and printable annotations that tell you where within your 401k software to locate needed information.

-- 401k FedForms even includes ready-to-complete Summary Annual Reports that take just moments to complete!

-- 401k FedForms is a free service for our 401k clients and is relevant in conjunction with their 401k plan administration software.

-- Click here to preview the 401k FedForms website (www.401kfedforms.com).

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[topic 11]

No Trustee Fees

401(k) Easy plans are IRS-approved as employer-trusteed, which means you never have to hire — and thus never have to pay — any 401k trustees.

-- Trustee fees in other 401k plans can add up to hundreds of dollars a year. Just one more area of savings with 401(k) Easy!

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[topic 12]

Watch for Hidden Fees

The US Labor Department is currently auditing 401k plans of all sizes because of a trend that may violate current pension laws. Many companies, especially smaller businesses, are shifting plan administrative expenses to plan participants, knowingly or unknowingly. This shift of plan expenses come in the form of "hidden fees" that are routinely deducted from each participants' retirement savings by some plan providers and mutual funds. Because of lax reporting requirements, no one really knows how much money changes hands behind the scenes, but it is estimated that excessive fees may be as much as $1.5 billion per year, and growing.

In the 401k arena, expense fee disclosure, whether to plan participants or plan sponsors, has been notoriously confusing and unclear. The impact of these confusing hidden fees on plan participants' retirement accounts can be very significant over time. As example, consider a hypothetical 401k investment such as a mutual fund, with deducted expense fees of 1.3 percent versus one with fees of just .3 percent. Applied to an initial 401k investment of $5,000, with regular annual investments of $5,000 returning 10 percent, and compounded over 15 years, the difference between the "low-fee" investment and the "high-fee" investment adds up to $15,398. That's a significant sum deducted from a participant's retirement savings.

Policymakers and plan sponsors seeking to structure well-managed 401ks for their aging workforces are beginning to acknowledge the negative impact hidden fees has on eroding pension accumulations for retirement. What might appear to be a small difference in deducted investment fees can result in substantial differences in eventual retirement benefits.


[topic 13]

Our Policy Regarding All Asset-Based Fees

We at 401(k) Pro, distributor of 401k Easy and 401k Easy Online, have always worked hard to keep 401(k) plans as affordable as possible for our clients, many being small and very small companies. 

We do not accept any rebates or revenue sharing of fees deducted from our clients' plan assets. 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 applied to reducing our clients' asset costs. Our published prices, available online for all to see, are the only compensation we collect.

Asset-based fees are an unavoidable fact of life if your company is using mutual funds or self-directed brokerage accounts for the 401(k). The cost of these asset-based fees must be included when determining the true, overall cost of a company's 401(k), By not collecting a portion of asset-based fees, and instead requiring that the fund companies and/or custodians apply these fees to keep overall costs down, 401(k) Pro is doing its part to keep 401(k) plans as affordable as possible.

For more information on asset-based fees we recommend reading "Revenue Sharing in the 401K) Marketplace--Whose Money Is It?" by The McHenry Consulting Group http://www.mchenryconsulting.com/ and Study of 401(k) Plan Fees and Expenses by the US Department of Pension Welfare and Benefits.


[topic 14]

Taxes, Shipping and Handling Included

All 401(k) Easy prices include taxes, shipping and handling. When we say "everything is included," we mean everything!

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