Vanguard and Ascensus Introduce Small-Plan 401(k)

Vanguard will offer a bundled 401(k) and profit-sharing plan service for companies with assets of less than $20 million through a partnership with Ascensus.

The plan combines Vanguard investment options with recordkeeping from Ascensus.  The “turnkey service” will include funds, recordkeeping, call center services, compliance testing, participant education, along with optional services such as participant advice, self-directed brokerage, and trustee services. The service is expected to launch in the fourth quarter with “all-in” plan costs “anticipated to be among the lowest in the industry,” according to Vanguard.

The service will be offered directly to plan sponsors as well as to fee-only advisers who serve retirement plan sponsors.

“Vanguard believes that small businesses should be able to offer high-quality, cost-effective retirement plans to help their employees save efficiently for their futures,” said Kathy Fuertes, head of Vanguard’s Retirement Plan Services for small business. “By working with Ascensus, we have developed a streamlined way for these companies and their plan participants to easily access Vanguard’s low-cost funds and a range of investment and retirement plan services.”