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Monday, March 22, 2010

Fidelity Flattens Advisor 401k Fees

News summary by MFWire's editors

Level fee advocates in the 401(k) side of the mutual fund business are about to gain a strong ally: Fidelity Investments Institutional Services. Fidelity spokesman Steve Austin confirmed that in August the Boston-based mutual fund titan will switch its Advisor 401(k) platform to a system where the plan advisor receives one flat fee from Fidelity (instead of several different fees in the form of 12b-1s from the various fund firms whose offerings are included in the plan).

InvestmentNews' Jessica Toonkel Marquez first reported on the move.

Austin also noted that a "small number" of advisors have worked on a level-fee basis for five years via Fidelity's institutional (I-class) shares).

The move comes even as some broker-dealers -- including indie B-Ds Commonwealth Financial Network and LPL, as well as the UBS wirehouse -- have created level-fee programs for their retirement-plan-focused advisors (see our sister publication, The 401kWire: 12/12/2006, 4/4/2008 and 9/11/2009. And Fidelity isn't the only 401(k) provider offering a level-fee advisor solution: Paychex added a level feel option last week, and Ascensus is another recent convert (see The 401kWire, 8/14/2008 and 3/15/2010). 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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