Re: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider?
fees? ease of use etc?
Postby twenty characters » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:58 am
Empower rules the 457 market space, but they also have 401(k) clients.
My employer was naive about the 457 market until we connected with a consultant at NAGDCA who helped us turn things around.
Since we began consulting, we tell Empower what we want instead of Empower giving us what it wants. Fees are renegotiated with Empower each time we issue an RFP, and so far, they've worked diligently to hold on to our business.
There may be multiple Empower websites, but on mine, you can self-select a userid for the website (it doesn't have to be numeric).
The password has to be numeric, and mine is > 8 numbers long.
Empower Retirement Overview
I think they do this so passwords on the IVR can match the ones on the website. I wonder how much longer IVR will be offered.
When it goes, I'd expect password rules to change.
Your employer's 401(k) plan may be listed on Bright Scope, enabling you to get a look at fees before you sign up. 457 plans generally assess those fees explicitly to participants--it may be an ERISA requirement, and if so, you'll find it's true in 401(k) plans.
Enrolling In Your Plan Is An Important Part of Having the Future You Want
As you've seen, some use capitation and some use an asset-based charge. My plan chose asset-based in order to entice people to start saving since people with high balances pay more.
If you want to protect assets under a qualified plan while minimizing fees, you can first fill an IRA (which we assume you keep at Vanguard and it has an appropriate Boglehead lazy portfolio), then put whatever more you can afford in the 401(k).
Be certain to defer as much into the 401(k) as your employer will match, in any case.
Retirement Plans: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
You'll be paying Empower a premium for recordkeeping in addition to the fees for funds you select. On the other hand, you can shelter more income in an employer sponsored plan than you can in an IRA and you may be entitled to an employer match.
Until your employer takes the reins, Empower will be happy to run your new employer's plan to its own specifications.
Once your employer takes the reins, Empower will wish to keep the business and will accommodate your employer's wishes. We immediately banished the (then Great-West) proprietary funds.
It took YEARS to get out of a Great-West money market fund, but it was a worthwhile struggle. We've seen a couple of mishaps over the years, and Empower worked hard to calculate the loss to participants and, more importantly, made them whole at its own expense.
There are all kinds and all sizes of employers.
Yours may take kindly to a polite suggestion that its 401(k) plan needs attention.
You'll want to do your homework first, of course. Amidst running an actual business, details like the office coffee machine and the qualified retirement plan can fall off the radar. You might be the one who makes a difference for everyone at that employer, and an improved 401(k) plan could, depending upon your workplace demographic, be a useful recruiting tool.