American 401k Review 2022 | Best Employee Retirement Plans

American 401k Editor's Score: 91/100

transparent pricing 100/100
low employee investment fees 87/100
Mobile and online access 100/100
No sign-up or administration fees 80/100
variety of plans 90/100

Why the American 401k Is Best for Transparency

Unlike some of the best employee retirement providers, American 401k offers transparent pricing. The provider's administration fee and per-employee fee are indicated for each of the two plans, and custom quotes can be obtained by phone, email, or via the online contact form. What's more, the company does not charge 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum-balance fees, and there are no commissions on the purchase or sale of mutual funds.


  • The company's website is transparent about pricing and fees.
  • American 401k offers investors over 15,000 funds and 1,000 ETFs, including Vanguard.
  • It is suitable for businesses with one to 500 employees.


  • Some plans limit access to certain investments, which can hurt adoption rates.
  • There is limited information about the administrative dashboard of the platform.

Features of American 401k Plan

Speciality Chieftain Aristocrat class
Number of Employees 0 to 100 101+
employee self-enrolment Yes Yes
Individual and online group enrollment sessions Yes Yes
passive and active funds Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes
individual securities No Yes


Designed for businesses with up to 100 employees, American 401k's premier plan is for businesses starting a new 401(k). This plan provides full service and recordkeeping; The biggest difference is in the types of investments available. Premiere only offers mutual and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), making it ideal for businesses that want to limit employees to diversified investment options.

Aristocrat class

American 401k's Elite plan is for businesses with 101 or more employees and businesses with an existing 401(k). The option is also best for businesses that want access to funds, ETFs and individual securities.

additional features

  • Setup and Onboarding: Clients receive concierge-level guidance during the implementation process and ongoing administration. American 401k helps business owners and human resources professionals design retirement plans tailored to their unique needs. If your company has an existing 401(k), American 401(k) can help you review your current plan and conduct a fiduciary investment review.
  • Administration, Compliance and Record Keeping: American 401k customers can take advantage of payroll software integration, as well as receive assistance with Department of Labor and IRS compliance and compensation reporting. PB&H Benefits provides administration and recordkeeping services to US 401k customers.
  • Mobile Enrollment: Like many retirement providers, American 401k offers mobile enrollment to employees.
  • Employee Education and Resources: Employees also receive face-to-face investment guidance, in-person group enrollment, webinars, retirement income calculators, and access to economic and market updates.

account type

  • Safe Harbor 401(k): Safe harbor plans have some matching requirements outlined by the IRS, but they also allow business owners to maximize their own contributions to the plan.
  • Traditional 401(k): Traditional 401(k) plans offer the greatest flexibility for companies with employees.
  • Solo 401(k): Businesses that have no employees can set up a self-employed 401(k), which allows for larger contributions than other individual retirement plans.

investment options

American 401k employers can choose from over 15,000 mutual funds and over 1,000 ETFs. Plan administrators can also choose from both active and passive (or index) funds. What's more, American 401k investment does not limit the number of slots that employers can offer their employees, and employers can include the option of a self-directed brokerage account.

Beyond its range of investment options, American 401k mutual fund does not collect commissions when buying or selling shares, and there are no 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum-balance fees.

significant achievementsImportant achievements: In addition to 401(k) plans, American 401k provides access to more than 15,000 mutual funds and 1,000 exchange-traded funds, giving employees significant choices in how to invest for their retirement.


American 401k major retirement plans have similar administrative costs, with discounts available depending on the size of the plan. The American 401k mutual fund does not charge a commission when buying or selling shares, and there are no 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum-balance fees.

  • Premiere: This plan has a one-time install fee of $250 and an annual fee of $500, plus $20 per month per participant. Employees are charged an annual program fee of 0.65%. Profit sharing is involved.
  • Aristocrat class: This plan has a one-time install fee of $250 and an annual fee of $500, plus $20 per month per participant, with discounts based on plan size. Employees are charged a custom annual event fee based on their employer's plan. Like the Premier plan, profit sharing is also included.

ease of use

American 401k plans are offered through a subsidiary of MassMutual. But there is no opportunity to set up an online plan; You'll need to work with a representative, which requires a coordination program and may include face-to-face meetings. However, once your plan is established, maintenance of the plan can be handled online.

American 401k also supports employee participation rates by offering both online and mail-in enrollment. The provider offers group enrollment meetings in person or via webinars, as well as educational resources to help employees make investment decisions.

customer service

Information about American 401k's customer service is limited. Potential clients who would like a quote can contact a financial professional by phone, email or via the contact form. American 401k's website indicates that clients have access to the Account Manager Concierge Service and that advisory services are offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services LLC, a subsidiary of MassMutual. Similarly, customer service related to recordkeeping may go through a third party provider, PB&H Benefits.


American 401k charges an annual fee. If you're looking for an employee retirement benefits service provider that doesn't charge an annual fee, consider our review of Human Interest.

TipTip: Looking for other options for the American 401k? Consider our review of ADP or our Paychex review.

What is an Employee Retirement Benefit Provider?

An Employee Retirement Benefit Provider is a company that helps small business owners provide sponsored retirement plans for their employees to save and invest in. Retirement benefit providers provide a variety of services, including plan administration, investment selection, and record keeping. Providers typically offer a variety of retirement plans, investment options, pricing structures, features, and services.


To determine our best pick for transparency in employee retirement plans, we researched plan providers who provided all-important information up front. Entrepreneurs are busy running their business and don't have time to call each vendor to find out the cost of each plan. That's why transparency in pricing and services is so important.

We chose companies that offered the most specific details, rather than categories of pricing. We also looked for plan sponsors who elaborate on their fees and costs that are in front of us. In order to land our preference for transparency, the seller must also be clear about the types of plan and investment options it offers and provide top-notch customer service. The American 401k checks all of these boxes for transparency.

questions to ask

Does American 401k Offer “Concierge” Support?

Yes. With concierge-level support, your business receives a dedicated team of retirement experts who create and implement your plans, help you sign up employees, and help educate employees about their options. To provide training and support.

What Are Some Investment Fees That American 401k Doesn't Charge?

American 401k does not charge sales loads, 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum balance fees. Employees participating in American 401k plans pay a 0.65% investment fee. Investment fees can add up quickly and reduce the overall lifetime ROI of your investment portfolio.

ground level

We recommend the American 401k…

  • Business owners who want a face-to-face meeting with a representative.
  • Companies that want to provide personalized service to their employees.
  • Businesses located in the Philadelphia area.

we No Recommend the American 401k for…

  • Business owners who want a streamlined online setup.
  • Startups that want to reward employees with equity in the company.

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