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Personal beliefs don’t belong in retirement accounts

Wes Craven’s 5 highest grossing films

Ode to that legendary New York steakhouse the Palm

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Automat concept is back — with a lot more quinoa

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Sunday is Warren Buffett's 85th birthday
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BlackBerry is a better buyout target than Twitter
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Our kids aren’t doomed to be poorer than we are

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/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.12 0.00 0.00%
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/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 121.26 +0.03 0.02%
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/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.01%
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WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.44 +0.00 0.00%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.22 +0.03 1.59%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.01 1.33%
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5 yr CD
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MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
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Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Among 401(k) Investors, a Big Information Gap

Question: How much time do you spend with the retirement-plan disclosures you receive from your 401(k) or individual retirement account?

Answer: Probably little more than the time you’ve just spent reading these two sentences.

Lightspring / Shutterstock.com

A new study from Limra, a Windsor, Conn., research and consulting firm, found that two-thirds of Americans with defined-contribution plans or IRAs spend less than five minutes scrutinizing each disclosure statement. About 20% say they rarely — or never — read the documents.

The research is tied to new rules from the Department of Labor, which require providers of 401(k)s and related savings plans to disclose additional information about fees, expenses and associated data in quarterly and annual statements. The goal: to help workers cut the cost of maintaining their accounts and building a nest egg.

The Limra study is an effort to gauge employees’ understanding of the new rules — and it highlights not only how little time most workers spend with their retirement-plan documents but also how little they know about their plans’ fees. Excessive fees, of course, can make a big difference in the eventual size of a nest egg. The Department of Labor offers the example of two 30-year-olds, each with $25,000 in a retirement account. The first account has an expense rate of 0.5%, the second has a rate of 1.5%. After 35 years, with identical investment returns of 7% (and no additional contributions), the first account would grow to $227,000 — but the second would total just $163,000.

Among the key findings:

  • Half of participants in defined-contribution plans said they have no idea how much they pay in annual fees and expenses.
  • Almost four in 10 surveyed workers (38%) believe they don’t pay any fees or expenses.
  • About one in eight (12%) participants in defined-contribution plans could offer an estimate of what their fees might be. The most common estimate: 1% of the account balance. (Limra cites a 2011 Deloitte/ICI study, which found that the “median defined-contribution-plan participant is in a plan with an all-in fee of 0.78% of assets, based on plans included in that study.”)

Will retirement-plan participants make use of the new disclosures? Reaction might well be “muted” at first, Limra states. That’s because surveyed workers indicated they aren’t really sure what to do with the information when they get it.

When asked how they might react if they learn that the fees in their retirement plan are higher than average, 31% said they didn’t know; 24% said they would move current assets into funds with lower fees; 21% said they would with speak with their employer about trying to reduce fees; and 16% said they would do nothing.

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 8)

View all Comments »
    • As always, a great article. Sorry to not greet your magazine at my mailbox each month any more.

      The fees should be shared on the first page, and broken out by annual cost for each fund, and any other overriding fees to the account. Not too complex.

      One should use the fees to make a simple decision – Do I contribute more than it takes to get a full match? Say my costs add to 1.5%. Not uncommon. If long term, I’m thinking I’ll deposit while in the 25% bracket but withdraw at 15%, it takes only 7 years with this plan to negate any benefit, may as well just invest post tax, or better yet, in an IRA. So to your point, dufus, knowledge is power.

    • What’s the point of reading about fees you don’t control? Either you participate in your employer’s 401k or you don’t. Stop writing articles that imply we have a choice, this is not a personal investment vehicle, it’s employer sponsored. Give us a break on the topic of compelling your employer to change 401k plans because of fees, fat chance..

    • One way around fees (and trying to figure them out) is to go self-directed with a Solo 401(k)( http://www.broadfinancial.com/solo-401k )After set-up, the only fee charged is one low annual fee which covers amendments and customer service. Because of the self-directed platform, investors don’t have to pay any fees because they handle all the investments themselves.

    • Hi

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets After Hours

need to know
Apple will let iPhone and iPad users block ads
J.C. Penney upgraded by Deutsche Bank
Wal-Mart cuts worker hours at some stores
5 silly new words in the Oxford dictionary
Unlucky lottery winner gets IOU from Illinois

Personal beliefs don’t belong in retirement accounts

Wes Craven’s 5 highest grossing films

Ode to that legendary New York steakhouse the Palm

When you absolutely, positively need a cocktail

Teacher with 111 tardies puts blame on breakfast

Automat concept is back — with a lot more quinoa

If Donald Trump can do it, why not Kanye West?

Scott Walker's backers seek a reboot of his campaign
Scott Walker’s backers seek reboot of campaign
Scott Walker wants a wall — with Canada

Dissatisfied voters are fueling Sanders and Trump
Clinton says she supports ‘revolving door’ bill
Biden a tougher matchup than Clinton: poll

Ruling in ‘Deflategate’ expected by end of this week
Greedy owners are NFL preseason winners

Disney to unveil ‘Star Wars’ toys in unboxing event
Walt Disney leads Dow's losers for August

How teen clothing retailers compete today

Sunday is Warren Buffett's 85th birthday
Happy 85th birthday to the $67 billion man


Why BlackBerry is a more attractive buyout target than Twitter
BlackBerry is a better buyout target than Twitter
Twitter's stock jumps after analyst upgrade

Our kids aren’t doomed to be poorer than we are

Now is the time to fix your investment portfolio
Now is the time to fix your investment portfolio
Both worry, be happy stocks aren’t a sure bet

Facebook users flood Mark Zuckerberg with thank you’s
Facebook users flood Mark Zuckerberg with thanks

‘War Room’ is a ‘resounding success’ at box office

By this measure, stocks have weathered the worst
By this measure, stocks have weathered the worst

Cheeseburgers and happiness always on the menu for Warren Buffett — and Jimmy Buffett, too
Farrell: Recipes for happiness, from Buffett and others

/conga/frontpage.html 353752

Markets »

141.44MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 112.32M
Unchanged
217
Decliners
3378
Advancers
3004
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,528 -115 0.69%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,777 -52 1.07%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,972 -17 0.84%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,355 -18 0.76%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,134 0 0.03%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 48.11 +2.89 6.39%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,248 +56 0.90%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,259 -39 0.38%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,653 -22 0.47%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,942 -52 0.24%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,259 -94 0.91%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 363 0 0.13%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,784 -14 0.49%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,890 -246 1.28%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 21,671 +58 0.27%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,206 -26 0.82%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,283 -109 0.41%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,921 -35 1.17%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.12 0.00 0.00%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 121.26 +0.03 0.02%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.53 +0.00 0.01%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.01%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.97 -0.02 0.02%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.44 +0.00 0.00%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.22 +0.03 1.59%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.01 1.33%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 +0.01 0.45%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.06 0.00 0.19%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.85 -0.02 0.96%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.38 0.00 0.55%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 48 +3 6.39%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,134 0 0.03%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 375 +0 0.07%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,480 -179 1.07%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,966 -24 1.22%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 +0 0.32%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 89.43 -1.58 -1.74%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 112.76 -0.53 -0.47%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 618.25 -12.13 -1.92%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.34 -0.02 -0.12%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 53.48 0.20 0.38%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.87 0.13 0.95%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.20 -0.09 -0.27%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 33.54 0.28 0.84%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.82 -0.34 -1.35%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
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  • /quotes/zigman/19622165/composite BBRY+2.99%
  • /quotes/zigman/55553287/composite NK-7.76%
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X
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