Charles Schwab Corp. is developing a 401(k) plan that will use only index-based exchange traded funds. The move could speed the adoption of ETFs in retirement plans, which are dominated by traditional mutual funds.
This week, Schwab Retirement Plan Services rolled out Schwab Index Advantage, a 401(k) product comprised exclusively of index mutual funds with low fees. It will feature index funds managed by Schwab and other asset managers.
Schwab Retirement Plan Services is a 401(k) provider to about 1.5 million employees.
The San Francisco-based company said it is also working on a version of Schwab Index Advantage that will focus on ETFs. [Retirement Investors Focusing More on Fees]
“With Schwab Index Advantage we are developing a new alternative for employers and their employees by focusing on the two things that really matter: low cost and independent advice,” said said Jim McCool, executive vice president and head of Institutional Services at Schwab, in a press release.
“Fund operating expenses for index mutual funds and ETFs are typically lower than those associated with most actively managed mutual funds offered in 401(k) plans today. We believe index funds can provide employees with a better opportunity to accumulate more savings for retirement,” added Steve Anderson, head of retirement plan services at Charles Schwab. “Through such low-cost investments, fund operating expenses could be cut significantly. For the average worker in a 401(k) plan, that can mean nearly $115,000 more at retirement.”