ShareBuilder 401k
Capital One

Learn about 401(k) Business Costs

401(k) benefits are comparatively low-cost

Like healthcare or any benefit program, 401(k) services come with a cost to your business. But where healthcare costs can run between $5,049 (for single coverage) to $13,770 (for family coverage) per employee per year*, a 401(k) costs only a fraction of that amount.

Goal: keep your plan prices low

401(k) charges typically include a one-time fee to establish your plan and an ongoing annual or monthly fee to manage your account. These costs cover record-keeping, personal support from an account manager, and product and service improvements.

The per-employee administration cost of a 401(k) varies dramatically across the industry. Most
401(k) providers concentrate on serving large businesses and are neither priced nor prepared to serve sole proprietors or businesses with fewer than 50 employees. To ensure you're getting the lowest possible prices, follow this guide:

Price guide chart.
A business with ... should pay less than ...
1 employee (self-employed) $200 per year.
2 to 10 participants $1,000 per year.
11 to 25 participants $1,500 per year.
26 to 50 participants $2,300 per year.
51 to 100 participants $3,300 per year.

Goal: watch out for surprise fees

Some providers "nickel and dime" small business owners with fees for common services like preparing tax forms, rolling over funds from a previous 401(k) plan provider, and more.

  • Determine whether you will be charged by the number of employees at your company or the number of participants in your 401(k) plan (participants is preferable).
  • You'll want to avoid paying excessive or additional charges for expected services like IRS form preparation, discrimination testing, or the transferring of assets from another 401(k) plan.
  • Make sure you receive a fee schedule or quote that shows every fee your company could possibly be charged.

ShareBuilder 401k is different

We are dedicated to meeting the needs of small businesses, and price our services accordingly. Compare the first-year cost of a ShareBuilder 401k for a 10-person company to typical industry pricing:

First-Year 401(k) Cost Comparison

First-Year 401(k) Cost Comparison
  ShareBuilder 401k Typical Industry Pricing1
One-time setup fees $495 $990
Administration fees2 $960 $1,173
Participant fees2 $470 $1,127
Total first-year fees3 $1,925 $3,290

We invite you to review ShareBuilder's complete fee schedule, or call us to discuss costs at 800-943-6108, option 1. We're happy to be of service!

*2010 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey, Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research Education Trust.

1Price estimates are based on quote requests, interviews and printed data from leading small business 401(k) providers in Q2, 2011 and other 2010 industry data, and is compared to ShareBuilder's Simplified 401k plan. Participant fee savings are based on a plan with $50,000 in total assets. Plan sponsors should contact plan providers directly to compare the most up-to-date costs of service for their plan size, assets, and needs.

2ShareBuilder charges a simple monthly administration fee based on the number of participants only ($80 per month or $960 annualized in this example). Many providers charge an annual administration fee plus an annual eligible employee or participant fee!

3First-year fees are based on a company of 10, with 8 participating employees. ShareBuilder pricing is based on enrollment in a ShareBuilder Simplified 401k. As you'd expect, pricing and savings may vary depending on the number of participants.