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Small Business 401k Providers

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After 20+ years in a mature corp, I recently started a new job with a small software co. Between numerous provider changes my last company made and the several at my wife’s companies, I’ve probably seen 7 or 8 different providers with various levels of fund choices. Never, though, have I seen one so minimal as the one my new co is using. Provider we’re using (SaveDay) has just 5 options labeled from low risk to high risk. No “sidelines” options, no index funds.


No sidelines option seems beyond stupid and is a dealbreaker for me if I’m choosing 401k providers.


Has anyone recently researched 401k providers for your small co? If so, what did you determine were your best options? I’m inclined to go with ADP if I can get it without their other offerings, but certainly willing to look at others.



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I have never been employed by anything but a small company (law firms).  Fidelity is pretty good and their fees are nominal last time I checked.  There may be a price spread between the full panoply of Fidelity funds, and a selection, but I think they always include equities and probably ETFs (a couple were before ETFs).  And they always had money market and similar "sideline" options.

I've had a couple that went with payroll processor's options in the kind of employee-lease deal.  They always sucked and I am pretty sure ADP was one of them.

I don't know if Schwab or Vanguard offer 401ks or not, but I'd sure look.

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ADP is terrible. They advertise as an all in one and will let you do anything you ask. That includes blowing up your 401k because you’re non-complaint with the plan you set up.

Most providers offer open architecture, meaning you have a fairly large list of funds/ETFs to choose from for the plan. Then, whatever your plan trustee puts in the plan becomes the employees’ options. Can’t have too many because you have fiduciary issues.

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