Are all 401(k) Administrators so Bad? - Fidelity Rant

Are all 401(k) Administrators so Bad? - Fidelity Rant


Thanks all. I guess it’s my employer.

Yes! Much appreciated, although I still don’t understand why Fidelity won’t show the cost basis on the summary page like they do with every other account. It’s not just the investment options, many aspects of the account look like it’s running on a much older system - just comparing the netbenefits site with their regular site.

Anyway, the 401(k) is still worth it for me, and I can’t really complain to my employer, because of the match. Even if the fees were 10% it would still work out. Just annoyed that I can’t pay Fidelity personally in order to get access to a “self-directed” account. Considering maybe taking a loan out on it since my balances vested immediately and they paid the full match at the front-end.

I agree, but do think there is a point that it would not make sense to have the money there anymore (but not much you can really do about it other than quitting). Once you amass a certain amount, the 1.5% delta in fees are going to cost more than the match you’re getting on contributions - so it’s something to think about in the future. I haven’t run any numbers and to be honest I’m pretty new to this, so wouldn’t be totally surprised if I’m wrong, but that would seem to be the case.

If you’re leaving you’re job after 3 or 4 years you probably won’t amass enough in the account to make the excess fees exceed the match benefit, but if you stay there for 20 years it seems possible.


My former employer’s 401K was with fidelity. The plan also came with free access to brokeragelinks which allow participants to move all the 401K funds to them which in turn allows one to invest all the 401K money in any mutual funds available through fidelity. Mine doesn’t allow stocks/options/ETFs which were prohibited even outside our 401K anyway. I didn’t know about the brokeragelinks before.


Most 401k administrators only allow a select choice from their cafeteria list, which are usually higher fees than a typical IRA option. That’s where they get a bad rap. Consider yourself lucky with your previous employer’s options.