Retirement Topics - Fees


A plan may deduct fees from a participant’s defined contribution plan account. Plan administration fees and investment fees can be deducted from the account either as a direct charge or indirectly as a reduction of the account’s investment returns. Fees for individual services, such as for processing a loan from the plan or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, also may be charged to the account.

Plan fiduciaries have a specific obligation to evaluate the fees and expenses paid by a plan for its operations. Fiduciaries must establish a prudent process for:

  • selecting plan investment alternatives and plan service providers;
  • ensuring that fees paid to service providers and other plan expenses are reasonable in light of the level and quality of services provided;
  • selecting investment alternatives that are prudent and adequately diversified; and
  • monitoring investment alternatives and service providers once selected to see that they continue to be appropriate choices.

Additional Resources:

What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan
A Look At 401(k) Plan Fees
401(k) Plan Fees Disclosure Tool
Understanding Retirement Fees and Expenses