Regardless of where you work, take these key steps to make sure you get the most from a 401(k) plan.
What do employees of Delta Air Lines, the NFL and the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. have in common?
They have access to the best 401(k) plans around, according to BrightScope.
The financial data site’s eighth annual list of the 30 best 401(k) plans, released this week, gives the highest scores to plans offered by those three employers.
For the list, BrightScope considers 401(k) plans with more than $1 billion in assets.
The companies offering the 10 best plans are:
- Delta Air Lines
- National Football League (NFL)
- Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco)
- Southwest Airlines
- Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A.
- United Parcel Service of America (UPS)
Brooks Herman, head of data and research at BrightScope, notes that the latest list continues a trend:
“We have witnessed average plan ratings improve each year in the Top 30 List — and this year is no different. This demonstrates that America’s employees and employers recognize how critical a high quality 401k plan is to maintaining an acceptable standard of living in retirement.”
If you have a 401(k) or similar plan but it didn’t make BrightScope’s list, you can still consider yourself fortunate. Not every worker has access to a 401(k)-style plan.
If you’re unsure whether your employer offers one, you should ask.
If you do have access to a workplace retirement account, the first step is simply to take advantage of it.
As we reported earlier this week in “How Two-Thirds of Americans Are Risking Their Retirement,” most workers with access aren’t saving a dime in a workplace retirement account.
The second step is to look into your plan’s fees and what you can do to lower them.
As we explain in “Of All the Fees You Pay, This One Is the Worst,” fees attached to retirement accounts could rob your nest egg of hundreds of thousands of dollars:
Retirement plans are required to disclose how much they charge in fees. (The rules may be different for an IRA.) Even so, many employees believe (mistakenly) that they don’t pay any expenses or fees for their plan.
As that story explains, fees expressed as a percentage of your account balance can look small — but in reality, a 1 percent difference in fees can rob you of hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement savings over the course of a lifetime.
For more retirement savings tips, regardless of whether you have a 401(k), check out:
- “5 Simple Ways to Invest Your Retirement Savings“
- “9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to Retire“
- “Ready to Rescue Your Retirement in 2017? Here’s How“
How would you rate your employer’s retirement plan offerings? Sound off below or on Facebook.