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Our Low Participant Fees

Why ShareBuilder 401k offers only low-expense index funds

The ShareBuilder 401k fund line-up is built on the investment philosophy that managing the factors that can be controlled is the most effective way to help investors succeed. Fund costs, or expenses, are a key factor. In fact, a recent study by Morningstar found that "in every single time period and data point tested, low-cost funds beat high-cost funds!"

Yes, the impact of high fund expenses can take a big bite out of how much you have come retirement. Over 30 or 40 years, high fees can mean having several hundred thousand dollars less in savings.1 Index funds typically have noticeably lower expense ratios than actively managed funds. Just consider that ShareBuilder 401k's model portfolios have an average expense ratio of 0.10% — that's nice and low! Add in all the fund fees that participants pay in retirement plans which can cover everything from advisory fees to recordkeeping to distribution, and few can compare to ShareBuilder 401k.

This chart may be handy as you consider how participant fees tend to vary by the amount of money (assets) and participants in a plan — the key being how much money:

How participants fees tend to vary by the amount of money(assets) and partcipants in a plan
Plan assets Number of
Industry average
participant fees2
ShareBuilder 401k ShareBuilder 401k's advantage
$250,000 25 2.76% 0.92% 67% less
$2,500,000 50 1.48% 0.72% 51% less
$10,000,000 200 1.25% 0.62% 50% less


To learn more about the advantages of index-based investing, just read this guide.

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See how your 401(k) compares

Employee fees can take a big bite out of your and your employees' retirement savings. Many small and mid-size companies pay 1.5% or more in employee expenses. Find out how your plan stacks up with our free, no obligation Cost Comparison.