Brightscope, a company that tracks and compares 401(k) plans of many large employers, has issued a chart that gauges 401(k) fees.  There have been many lawsuits in recent years, challenging fees as being excessive.  In general, the suits have been unsuccessful.  Not surprising, fees diminish as plan size increases.  Large plans (over $100M in assets) almost uniformly have fees under one percent (1%) of assets.  The largest plans generally had fees below 0.5 percent of assets.  Many smaller plans had fees in excess of two percent of assets.  For smaller companies, these fees might be a reason to look into using a payroll company or professional employer organization (PEO) for tax withholding, employee benefits and general HR help.  By pooling assets, lower fees can be produced for the employers that “sign up” with the PEO.   The PEO should also be able to guide the employer through mundane payroll tasks and basic COBRA and HIPAA issues while providing group discounts on things like disability insurance.   Alternatively, small employers might simply choose to use index funds (e.g., the S&P 500 Index Fund) in their plans as investment alternatives and then do then best they can with respect to plan administration expenses.  The Brightscope analysis could possibly be used by plan fiduciaries to attempt to determine whether their plan’s fees are reasonable.