401k Easy Online About 401k Easy Online Contact Us To Order
self-service 401k plans Free Interactive Demos 401k Administration Demo 401k Participation Demo
Pricing Investment Options Common Questions

Pricing and Price Comparisons


401(k) Easy Online run-it-yourself 401ks save you money


401k Plan Fee Schedule


The 401k Easy Online setup fee is a one-time charge


401k Comparisons and the True Impact of Hidden 401k Fees


Everything is included with 401k Easy Online


US Department of Labor 401(k) Cost Comparison Worksheet


60-day money-back guarantee


Uncle Sam wants to help you launch your 401k


Free technical support


Low Cost 401k plan conversions


Free IRS reporting help


No trustee fees


Watch for hidden fees


Our Policy Regarding All Asset-Based fees


Even taxes, shipping and handling are included

box Save Money on 401k Plans with 401(k) Easy

[topic 1]

401k Plan Fee Schedule

401k Easy Online pricing covers absolute access to your Plan Sponsor Gateway and Plan Participant Gateway and all the functions they contain as well as any help you may need with using your online system.

-- The only thing you'll ever pay to Pension Systems Corporation aside from your annual fee (see below) is a one-time only $595 set-up fee, which covers the cost of complete customization and configuration of your 401k Easy Online. Customization includes your choice of plan options, your choice of any no-load mutual funds and/or self-directed brokerage accounts for your company's plan, customized signature-ready prototype plan documents, and more. 

-- Again, the one-time $595 set-up and customization fee occurs in the first year only. From then on, ALL YOU PAY Pension Systems Corporation IS YOUR RELEVANT ANNUAL FEE (see below).

-- With 401k Easy Online there are no additional fees, and no hidden processing or administration fees. After the plan has been set-up and successfully launched, there may be charges for additional support or training, but theses fees are both affordable and 'money back guaranteed'.

-- For these reasons and more, our web-based 401(k) has earned the right to be called 401k Easy Online.

Our IRS-approved plan documents allow the employer to set a dollar or percentage amount that is deducted monthly from employee-participants' accounts to help defray 401k Easy Online annual fees. The amount deducted is set by the employer, and disclosed to employee-participants.

Plan Size

Annual Fee

1 eligible employees
(plus spouse)

$495 a year--complete

2-4 eligible employees

$695 a year - complete

5-10 eligible employees

$895 a year - complete

11-15 eligible employees

$995 a year - complete

16-20 eligible employees

$1295 a year - complete

21-25 eligible employees

$1595 a year - complete

26-30 eligible employees

$1795 a year - complete

31-35 eligible employees

$1995 a year - complete

36-40 eligible employees

$2195 a year - complete

41-45 eligible employees

$2395 a year - complete

46-50 eligible employees

$2595 a year - complete

more than 50 eligible employees

$2595 plus $200 per each additional 5 eligible employees

*All new clients are charged a $595 plan set-up fee. This set-up fee is charged one time only, in the first year of service. The pricing above is for the first year of service only. Renewal fees may be adjusted; no set-up fees charged in subsequent years.

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[topic 2]

The 401k Easy Online Setup Fee Is a One-Time Charge

One of the great things about 401k Easy Online is its adaptability. Our IRS-approved prototype 401k plan includes a host of customization choices (see below), and our web-based 401k plan administration system includes additional customizable administrative features.

-- Our 401k experts can help you understand your 401k Easy Online plan and 401k plan administration options, so you can make educated decisions as to which are most desirable for your company and its 401k plan.

-- Our technical experts code your company's plan with your customization decisions, empowering your web 401(k) to streamline 401k management and automate most of its functions. Plan administration via 401k Easy Online takes most small businesses less than 20 minutes a month - and saves them thousands of dollars a year.

-- The charge for adapting IRS-approved plan documents and customizing 401k Easy Online to fit your company's needs is only $695. This fee does NOT vary with plan size, and it is charged ONLY at your plan's outset, not in any subsequent years.

-- If in subsequent years you decide you want to make substantive changes to your 401k plan, that's no problem. Please see below under Future Changes.

401k Easy Online customizable 401k plan items include...

-- Age, length of service, and other 401k plan participation requirements

-- Automatic 401k enrollment options

-- Employer matching, profit-sharing and/or qualified non-elective contribution rates, if any

-- 401k vesting schedules for relevant employer contributions

-- 401k loan availability

-- 401k discrimination testing/401k compliance testing options, including options associated with running your 401k plan as a safe harbor 401k plan, if you so choose

See our Order Form for the options currently available under each of these 401k customization items, or go to our Plan Options page to view a chart listing the 401k options currently allowed by the IRS and the options we typically recommend for most 401k Easy Online small business 401k plans.

Future Changes
You don't ever have to feel locked in to your 401k plan customization decisions with 401k Easy Online. For instance, some companies choose to exclude 401k loans in the early years of their plan, then add the option in at a later date.

-- We can modify your online 401k plan design for you any time you wish. However, we reserve the right to charge for changes initiated by you that require us to recustomize your 401k software and/or official 401k documents. The maximum charge for recustomization work is $695 per instance, depending upon the complexity of the changes required.

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With 401k Easy Online you save an average of 60% to 80% - every year!

According to HR Investment Consultants in Towson, MD, publisher of the "401k Provider Directory, "the cost of running a 401k plan with 25 participants and $750,000 in assets can range from as little as $6,750 per year to as much as $20,000, depending on which 401k vendor you select. (Sources: Nation's Business, September 1998, Myers, Randy "Your 401k Plan May Cost You Too Much." Business Week Online, July 2000, Brenner, Lynn "A Wealth of Choices.")

-- A 401k Easy Online 25-participant plan costs only $1895/yr (plus the first-year-only, one-time setup fee of $695)

-- The national average for a 25-participant plan is a whopping $6,750/yr to $20,000/yr (plus plan setup fees and minus the flexible 401k options that are all free with 401k Easy Online.

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[topic 3]

401k Comparisons and the True Impact of Hidden 401k Fees

Many 401k plans contain significant hidden fees. This is especially true of 401k plans offered to small companies, where it is easier to hide fees from small business owners, who are busy running their businesses and do not have the time or staff to review all the legal mumbo-jumbo of setting up a new plan or reviewing plan documents.

These hidden fees are being lifted from the back pockets of 401k plan participants. The US Department of Labor is trying to force 401k plan providers (banks, mutual fund companies, insurance companies, brokerages, etc.) to come clean about these hidden fees. But there is significant lobbying power at play to stymie the government's effort to force comprehensive 401k fee disclosure.

Here are the facts:

ICI (Investment Company Institute)
and Deloitte

According to a recent study by the ICI (Investment Company Institute) and Deloitte titled, "Defined Contribution / 401(k) Fee Study". the average 401k plan has hidden fees of 0.72% per year. That may not seem like much, but it costs the average participant about $11,000 in hidden fees for the lifetime of his or her 401k. These fees are extracted directly from the 401k participant's account. In their study, ICI and Deloitte call these hidden fees "all-in" fees. The average hidden "all-in" fee of 0.72% equates to $350 per year, extracted from participants' accounts.

For small 401k plans that cover less than 20 employees and less than $1 million in total assets, the hidden "all-in" fee situation is much worse. For small 401k plan participants, hidden "all-in" fees can jump from 0.79% to a whopping 1.89%, or up to $920 per plan participant per year! For small plan participants, this can mean paying an astounding $28,000 in hidden fees for the lifetime of his or her 401k. See pages 6, 16, 19 and 20 of ICI/ Deloitte report by clicking the report cover. If you are selecting a 401k for your employees, did you know they could be unknowingly losing $350 to $920 a year in hidden fees?

In most 401k plans, large and small, the employer pays the 401k plan's annual record keeping fees. These fees vary; below is a representative sample of annual record keeping fees:

401k fees for a company with 15 employees & $1 million in assets...
 401k Easy Online (www.401k-easy-online.com) = $995
 The Online 401k (www.theonline401k.com) = $1,100
 Wellington 401k (www.wellington401k.com) = $1,350
 Employee Fiduciary (www.employeefiduciary.com) = $1,500
 Sharebuilder 401k (www.sharebuilder401k.com) = $1,080

...and how prices skyrocket when the "all-in" and hidden fees are disclosed...
 401k Easy Online : $995 + [No hidden "all-in" fees] = $995 per year complete!
 The Online 401k : $1,100 + ["all-in" fee of 0.72% to 1.89%
of $1 million]
= $8,300 to $20,000 per year
 Wellington 401k : $1,350 + ["all-in" fee of 0.72% to 1.89%
of $1 million]
= $8,550 to $20,250 per year
 Employee Fiduciary : $1,500 + ["all-in" fee of 0.72% to 1.89%
of $1 million]
= $8,700 to $20,400 per year
 Sharebuilder 401k : $1,080 + ["all-in" fee of 0.65% of $1 million] = $7,580 per year

So it's not rocket science to understand why many plan providers in the 401k industry are blowing smoke to make any discussion about hidden or "all in" 401k fees confusing and bewildering. There is a great deal of money at stake, and all this smoke clouds the fact that many small employers are unknowingly offering their employees 401k plans laden with hidden fees.

Hidden and "all-in" 401k fees are getting noticed by the news media and the legal profession via class-action law suits, and some 401k plan providers that made fortunes mining hidden fees are now scrambling to cover their tracks. They are generating the kind of PR confusion many of us remember from years past, when major tobacco companies tried to explain to Americans that smoking was not hazardous their health. Many in the 401k industry are launching the same kind of PR assault, confusing and clouding the issue, but what is really at stake is the end of their 401k hidden fee gravy train, pure and simple.

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BASELINE ANNUAL FEE 401k Easy Online The Online 401(k) EZ401 Fidelity e401k Intuit
UniPlan 401(k)
Principal ImpactPlus
20 PERSON PLAN $1,295 per year
$595 setup fee
$2,580 per year
$1,000 setup fee
$2,520 per year
($1800 annual fee + $36/partic. fee)
$401 setup fee
$2,350 per year
(annual fee = $1750 annual fee + $30/partic. fee)
$750 setup fee
$2,040 per year
($1320 annual fee + $36/partic. fee)
$1,000 setup fee
$2,300 per year
($1700 annual fee + $30/partic. fee)
$500 setup fee
INVESTMENT OPTIONS 401k Easy Online The Online 401(k) EZ401 Fidelity e401k Intuit UniPlan 401(k) Principal ImpactPlus
  UNLIMITED selection of no-load funds, INCLUDING ACCESS TO Fidelity Funds and Vanguard Funds, or self-directed brokerage accounts. No hidden fees or charges Limited investment selection, with no access to Fidelity Funds or Vanguard Funds. Extra charges for self-directed brokerage accounts Prepackaged investments; investment fees may apply (in addition to normal asset-based fees) Fidelity Funds investments only Limited investment choices.  Prepackaged mutual funds with approx. average expense ratio of 1.5% in addition to  fund fees and costs. Principal Funds only
CONVERSION PLAN FEE 401k Easy Online The Online 401(k) EZ401 Fidelity e401k Intuit UniPlan 401(k) Principal ImpactPlus
(on average)
$1,495 -- $1,000 (not listed) (not listed)
ANNUAL LOAN FEE 401k Easy Online The Online 401(k) EZ401 Fidelity e401k Intuit UniPlan 401(k) Principal ImpactPlus
  none $95 per loan $125 per loan $75 per loan (not listed) $40 per loan
+ $8 per quarter
(latter paid by the plan participant)
DISTRIBUTION FEE 401k Easy Online The Online 401(k) EZ401 Fidelity e401k Intuit UniPlan 401(k) Principal ImpactPlus
  $30 per distribution $95 per distribution $100 per distribution $25 per distribution (not listed) (not listed
(charged against plan assets)
401k Easy Online The Online 401(k) EZ401 Fidelity e401k Intuit UniPlan 401(k) Principal ImpactPlus
Plan Assets of $250,000 $0 $3,750 per yr $3,750 per yr $3,750 per yr $3,750 per yr $3,750 per yr
Plan Assets of $1,000,000 $0 $15,000 per yr $15,000 per yr $15,000 per yr $15,000 per yr $15,000 per yr
NOTES 401k Easy Online The Online 401(k) EZ401 Fidelity e401k Intuit UniPlan 401(k) Principal ImpactPlus
  No hidden fees or commissions Possible hidden fees/costs Investment fees may apply (in addition to any normal asset-based fees) Nondiscrimination testing fee of up to $1,000 (fee contingent upon plan design) Hidden investment fees/costs; $150 per plan amendment Hidden investment fees/costs



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[topic 4]

Everything is Included with 401k Easy Online

401k Easy Online includes EVERYTHING you need to provide your company with a great 401k plan right from any computer with Internet connection in about 20 minutes a month (for most small business 401k plans).

401k Easy Online includes...

An IRS-approved prototype 401k plan
Our IRS-approved prototype 401k plan is replete with 401k plan customization options that enable your company to offer a 401k plan from which your employees can truly benefit.

401k online system
We customize our powerful yet easy-to-use web-based 401k plan administration system to the exact 401k plan and 401k plan customization options you choose for your plan. The customization information works in conjunction with the up-to-date IRS and other governing regulations programmed into your software to streamline your 401k's operation while keeping you apprised of your plan's health and growing wealth. Your online system has built-in safeguards barring you from running your 401k plan under the wrong rules, and it is updated continually to conform with ever-changing regulations.

401k help
You receive free, professional help with understanding your 401k plan management options as well as running your 401k Easy Online. Plan operation help includes a fantastic 401k Plan Management Guide as well as both free and affordable fee-based technical support.

401k investments
401k Easy Online lets you choose both the investment approach (self-directed brokerage accounts and/or no-load mutual fund family) and the specific investment provider(s) for your 401k plan. No other 401k plan offers greater investment flexibility. Visit our Investments pages for specifics, including listings of potential investments.

Plan-specific 401k forms and materials
Our online plan-specific 401k participation and employee education forms and materials explain 401k concepts (401k loans, 401k enrollment, 401k investing, etc.) to your employees while gathering the data needed to run your company plan. Included is an introductory slide show in convenient video format for introducing your employees to 401k plans and its tremendous savings potential.

IRS reporting help
Our 401k FedForms website (www.401kfedforms.com) tells you which federal reporting forms are relevant to your particular 401k plan, then shows you annotated versions of each relevant Form or Schedule (Form 5500, 1099-R, etc.) so you know exactly where within your 401k software to locate needed information. 401k FedForms even includes ready-to-complete Summary Annual Report PDFs that take just moments to fill in!

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[topic 5]

"US Department of Labor 401(k) Cost Comparison Worksheet" (click to view pdf version)

Expense Category

Expense Item PC-Based
Web-Based 401kEasy Online Brand X
One-Time Set-Up Fee        
New Plan Set-Up (one-time) $495 $595    $
Conversion of Existing Plan Fee (one-time) $495 $595    $
Per-Participant Fee (one-time) $0  $0    $
Federal Document Filing Fees $0  $0    $
Annual :Asset-Based" Fees        
Annual Asset-Based Fees $0  $0    $
Base Annual Plan Fee        
1 eligible employee (plus spouse) $395  $495   $
2-4 eligible employees $495 $695    $
5-10 eligible employees $695 $895    $
11-15 eligible employees $795 $995    $
16-20 eligible employees $995 $1,295    $
21-25 eligible employees $1,195 $1,595    $
26-30 eligible employees $1,395 $1,795   $
31-35 eligible employees $1,595 $1,995    $
36-40 eligible employees $1,795 $2,195    $
41-45 eligible employees $1,995 $2,395   $
46-50 eligible employees $2,195 $2,595   $
Annual "Per Participant" Fee $0 $0    $
Administration/Recordkeeping Fees        
Annuity Contract Administration Fee $0  $0    $
Daily Valuing and Updating of Account Balances $0 $0    $
Distribution Processing Fee $0 $35    $
Loan Origination Fee $0 $35    $
Loan Tracking Fee $0 $0    $
Participant Statement and/or Balance Inquiry Fee $0 $0    $
Payroll Processing Fee $0 $0    $
Trust-To-Trust Investment Transfer Fees $0 $0    $
Plan Compliance and Testing Services        
Nondiscrimination Testing $0 $0    $
Annual Tax Reporting        
IRS Form 5500 Information $0  $0    $
Annual Audit Report $0  $0    $
Plan Document Amendment Fee        
Mandatory Plan Amendment Fees $0  $0    $
Plan Document Determination Letter Fee $0  $0    $
Plan Transfer Fees $0  $0    $
Investment Option Fees        
Access to Brokerage Window $0  $0    $
Back-End Load Mutual Funds Commissions $0  $0    $
Front-End Load Mutual Funds Commissions $0  $0    $
No-Load (Commission-Free) Mutual Funds $0  $0    $
Investment Management Expense Ratio        
Equity Funds (No-Load) 20 BPS/yr 20 BPS/yr   $
Bond Funds (No-Load) 15 BPS/yr 15 BPS/yr   $
Specialty Funds (No-Load) 40 BPS/yr 40 BPS/yr   $
Average Expense Ratios of No-Load Funds 25 BPS/yr 25 BPS/yr   $
"Hidden" Embedded Investment Expenses        
12-B1 Fees $0  $0   $
Fund Turnover Charges $0  $0   $
Rebalancing Fees $0  $0   $
Sales Loads and Commissions $0  $0   $
Soft Dollars $0  $0   $
Sub-Transfer Agent (Sub-TA) Fee $0  $0   $
Transaction Fees $0  $0   $
Wrap Fees $0  $0   $
Additional Expenses        
Annuity Termination Charges $0 $0   $

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[topic 6]

60-day Money-Back Guarantee

401k Easy Online comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee on everything but the $695 one-time plan and software customization fee. Because this setup fee is non-refundable, we created a fully functioning demo version of our 401k system for people to try out before they order their actual 401k Easy Online plan.

-- The online real-time demo is the "real" 401k Easy Online, only it has been customized to service a fictitious company's plan. Nearly every 401k administration feature is activated, and you'll get a feel for it if this self-service 401k is the right approach for your company.

Our goal at 401k Easy Online is to ensure that all our clients and their employees have 401k plans they feel good about. If your company purchases 401k Easy Online and then down the road decides the self-service approach is on the right approach for you, give us a call: We can convert your 401k Easy Online plan into a traditional, full-service plan at any time. With 401k Easy Online, you're never locked into anything.

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[topic 7]

Uncle Sam wants to help you launch your 401k

Under federal regulations, the $595 one-time set-up fee your company pays for its 401k Easy Online may be refunded in the form of a federal tax credit. New 401k Easy Online plans qualify to receive this federally-mandated dollar-for-dollar refund, but there are some restrictions. If you are interested in receiving this tax credit, please consult your tax advisor.

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[topic 8]

Free Technical Support

401k Easy Online includes an easy-to-read yet comprehensive 401k Easy Management Guide that tells you how to run your company's plan.

-- The 401k Easy Management Guide helps you get your plan up and running almost as soon as you receive your pass-code information for your new plan (you just need to input - or import - some employee data).

-- The accompanying 401k Easy Management CD-ROM contains background detail and instructions on transactions not common to typical monthly 401k administration.

-- If you ever have any questions, we're here to help! Our tech support phone number is listed at the front of your 401k Easy Management Guide, or you can e-mail us at support@401k-network.com.

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[topic 9]

Low Cost 401k Plan Conversions

401k Easy Online can accommodate new or already existing 401k plans of any size. Most plan conversions to 401k Easy Online are done for only $500

-- Visit our Converting Existing Plans page for more information.

-- See our 401k Conversion Plan Order Form for a listing of plan customization options available with 401k Easy Online. (If you have specific questions about converting your existing 401k plan for use with 401k Easy Online, submitting an Order Form and with "Unsure. Please contact..." buttons clicked, where applicable, is the most expedient way for us to serve you, even if all you want at the moment is answers to conversion-related questions. Submitting an Order Form IN NO WAY obligates you to actually placing an order, and no money changes hands; the Order Forms simply gather the data we need to accurately answer your 401k-related questions.

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[topic 10]

Free IRS Reporting Help

401k Easy Online includes free help with your 401k-related federal reporting.

-- Our 401k FedForms website shows you annotated versions of the relevant year's 401k-related federal reporting forms and schedules (Form 1099-R, the 5500 series, etc.) and tells you which are relevant to your particular 401k plan, when each is due to the IRS, plus additional information.

-- 401k FedForms contains both popup instructions and printable annotations that tell you where within your 401k software to locate needed information.

-- 401k FedForms even includes ready-to-complete Summary Annual Reports that take just moments to complete!

-- 401k FedForms is a free service for our 401k clients and is relevant in conjunction with their 401k plan administration software.

-- Click here to preview the 401k FedForms website (www.401kfedforms.com).

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[topic 11]

No Trustee Fees

401k Easy Online plans are IRS-approved as employer-trusteed, which means you never have to hire - and thus never have to pay - any 401k trustees.

-- Trustee fees in other 401k plans can add up to hundreds of dollars a year. Just one more area of savings with 401k Easy Online!

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[topic 12]

Watch for Hidden Fees

The US Labor Department is currently auditing 401k plans of all sizes because of a trend that may violate current pension laws. Many companies, especially smaller businesses, are shifting plan administrative expenses to plan participants, knowingly or unknowingly. This shift of plan expenses come in the form of "hidden fees" that are routinely deducted from each participants' retirement savings by some plan providers and mutual funds. Because of lax reporting requirements, no one really knows how much money changes hands behind the scenes, but it is estimated that excessive fees may be as much as $1.5 billion per year, and growing.

In the 401k arena, expense fee disclosure, whether to plan participants or plan sponsors, has been notoriously confusing and unclear. The impact of these confusing hidden fees on plan participants' retirement accounts can be very significant over time. As example, consider a hypothetical 401k investment such as a mutual fund, with deducted expense fees of 1.3 percent versus one with fees of just .3 percent. Applied to an initial 401k investment of $5,000, with regular annual investments of $5,000 returning 10 percent, and compounded over 15 years, the difference between the "low-fee" investment and the "high-fee" investment adds up to $15,398. That's a significant sum deducted from a participant's retirement savings.

Policymakers and plan sponsors seeking to structure well-managed 401ks for their aging workforces are beginning to acknowledge the negative impact hidden fees has on eroding pension accumulations for retirement. What might appear to be a small difference in deducted investment fees can result in substantial differences in eventual retirement benefits.

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[topic 13]

Our Policy Regarding All Asset-Based Fees

We at Pension Systems Corporation, distributor of 401k Easy and 401k Easy Online, has always worked hard to keep 401(k) plans as affordable as possible for our clients, many being small and very small companies. 

Our policy is not to accept any rebates or revenue sharing of fees deducted from our clients' plan assets unless those fees can be returned to the plan, or used by Pension Systems Corporation to offset plan expenses. Entities that provide and support 401(k) plan investments, include mutual funds managers, fund distributors, asset custodians, asset trustees, investment brokers and advisors, and plan administrators and record-keepers. These entities typically earn at least a portion of their compensation from asset-based fees deducted from plan assets. 

401k Easy Online is an exception to the norm in that we do not earn any compensation, either directly or indirectly, from our clients 401(k) plan assets. If rebates are offered, we instead have the rebates returned to the client or directly applied to reducing our clients' costs. Our published prices, available online for all to see, are the only net compensation we collect.

Asset-based fees are an unavoidable fact of life if your company is using mutual funds or self-directed brokerage accounts for the 401(k). The cost of these asset-based fees must be included when determining the true, overall cost of a company's 401(k), By applying these fees to keep overall costs down, Pension Systems Corporation is doing its part to keep 401(k) plans as affordable as possible.

For more information on asset-based fees we recommend reading Study of 401(k) Plan Fees and Expenses by the US Department of Pension Welfare and Benefits.

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[topic 14]

Taxes, Shipping and Handling Included

All 401k Easy Online prices include taxes, shipping and handling. When we say "everything is included," we mean everything!

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