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BELLEVUE, Wash. – To assist those small businesses that do not offer their employees any retirement plan, ShareBuilder Corp. recently rolled out its ShareBuilder 401(k). Designed for businesses with less than 50 employees, the plan’s portfolio consist exclusively of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which the company says can perform “as well or better than most mutual funds due to a much lower expense ratio on average.” The plan carries a $15 monthly fee per participant; no annual employer administrative fee; and a 0.65% annual asset fee. “Small business owners have told us that they’ve been left behind in the retirement plan space, with most options being too costly for them or their employees,” said Jeff Seely, Chairman and CEO of ShareBuilder. “Today, 35 percent of the total U.S. workforce does not have access to a retirement plan at work, and that’s just plain unacceptable.” ShareBuilder has partnered with De Pere, Wis.-based PAi, a firm specializing in small business plan administration, to provide the back-end administration for employers and recordkeeping for participants in the ShareBuilder 401(k). ETFs, often referred to by investors as Index Funds, are a key element to keeping costs down in the ShareBuilder 401(k), according to the company. The less a ShareBuilder 401(k) plan participant pays in expenses, the higher their net returns should be, and the more money they could accumulate for retirement, it claims. “The ShareBuilder 401(k) plan is the first opportunity for small businesses to have access to low-cost funds like ETFs wrapped in a portfolio all for less than 1.00 percent annual asset fee,” said Fred Barstein, CEO of 401(k) Exchange. Citing SBA data, ShareBuilder said more than 85% of the small businesses in the United States do not offer their employees any retirement plan. More than one-third of America’s workforce does not have access to an employer-provided retirement plan, the company said.

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