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Case Studies



Eliminating Hidden Plan Fees and Saving $240K

A large CPA firm assumed its retirement plan was “free” because it wasn’t being invoiced for administrative services. What they didn’t realize was that the structure of their old plan was actually costing them $300K+ in hidden fees.

Too Good to be True?

The firm’s retirement plan was on a well-known insurance company’s platform. The plan had more than $14 million in assets and 235 participants. The firm believed that the plan was “free” because it was not being invoiced for administrative services. The plan’s mutual funds were performing well enough. No administrative fees, decent returns. Too good to be true? That question was answered when one of the managing partners wondered if the firm’s retirement plan could be getting better returns and a greater selection of funds.


Aside from the mutual fund fees, it appeared that the firm’s plan was indeed “free”. There was no group annuity contract charge and no additional fees built into the mutual funds themselves.

In reality, of the twenty or so funds offered in the plan, one Managed Account was charging 1.20%. More than 70% of the plan’s assets were in this account.

Uncovering fees in the firm’s old plan took substantial time and effort. We found that the firm was paying approximately $308,000 (220 basis points—1.20% for the insurance program and approximately 1% basis points for investment advisory services).


By changing the Record-keeper and Custodian, we were able to move the plan to an open architecture system, allowing full access to the mutual fund marketplace. We also replaced the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), reducing the plan’s advisory fee from 1% to 0.25%.

All told, PlanPerfect saved the firm approximately $239,865 in both explicit and implicit charges. The revised total cost to the firm was $68,500, or 49 basis points of plan assets (compared to 220 basis points in the old plan).


Contact us if you are looking to reduce your retirement plan’s fees.

Phone: 949-223-8397

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