The asset-weighted average expense ratio paid by 401(k) plan participants for stock mutual funds was up 3 basis points in 2009, to 74 basis points, according to an Investment Company Institute report.
The average expense ratio paid on bond funds was up 2 basis points, to 55 bps, while the average expense ratio paid for money market funds fell 2 bps to 36 bps.
The study, “The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans, Services, Fees and Expenses, 2009,” attributes the expense ratio increases for managing stock and bond funds to spreading fixed management costs over fewer assets resulting from the downturn in the stock and bond markets in 2008 and early 2009.
“The drop in money-market fund expense ratios in 2009 is largely attributed to ongoing fee waivers by firms during a continuing low-interest-rate environment,” according to an ICI news release.
Rachel McTague, an ICI spokeswoman, declined to comment.