Human Interest Review 2022 | Best Employee Retirement Plans

Human Interest Editor's score: 95/100

transparent pricing 100/100
low employee investment fees 95/100
Mobile and online access 100/100
No fee for sign-up and administration 100/100
variety of plans 90/100

Why Human Interest Is Best for Affordability

Human Interest is the best employee retirement provider for affordability because it is cost-effective and significantly more transparent about pricing than most other providers in the space. The $4-per-employee fee is relatively low, especially for plans that offer easy payroll integration, as well as full plan administration and recordkeeping.


  • Monthly rates start at just $120 per month, plus $4 per employee per month.
  • Tiered pricing lets businesses choose the level of support that's right for them.
  • Human Interest includes free built-in investment advice for employees and automatic portfolio rebalancing.


  • Some users report problems connecting with the customer support team.
  • The customer support team is unable to make the account change.
  • There are no IRA options.


Speciality Mandatory Full gatekeeper
payroll integration Yes Yes Yes
Automated administration and record keeping Yes Yes Yes
planning administration No Yes Yes
Human interest 3(16) acts as fiduciary No Yes Yes
tax support No Yes Yes
Dedicated Account Management No No Yes


Essential Human Interest has a basic plan that includes integration with over 100 payroll providers, along with automated administration and recordkeeping. Employers can customize plans to include safe harbor plans, profit-sharing plans, Roth and traditional 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans. The Essentials plan enables employers to design vesting schedules, automatic enrollment, plan eligibility, employer matching contributions, and more.


In addition to the integration and automation available through the Essentials plan, Complete Plan customers get more advanced services from the Human Interest team. With this option, Manav acts as the plan administrator and 3(16) fiduciary. The completed plan also includes tax support, including human interest indications and IRS documents.


The Concierge is Human Interest's most comprehensive employee retirement plan. Employers get access to all the features included in the full plan, as well as dedicated account management, which further streamlines administration and makes it easier to provide employee retirement benefits.

additional features

  • Administrative compliance. Business owners can choose a plan that puts IRS and DOL reporting and compliance in the hands of a human interest account manager.
  • Salary integration. Human Interest's platform integrates with over 100 of the most popular payroll companies, making it easy to track and process employee contributions.
  • Reporting. Employers can access the Human Interest admin dashboard to view reports, evaluate employee adoption, and perform other tasks.
  • IRS document. Business owners can simplify tax preparation by choosing a Human Interest Complete or Concierge plan. With either of these options, Human Interest minimizes paperwork and reduces the risk of missing deadlines from preparing, signing, and filing IRS forms.
  • employee resources. Human Interest provides employees with built-in investment advice and automated portfolio rebalancing. Employees can get assistance for rollovers, loans and hardship withdrawals via phone and email. There is also an online learning center for both employees and employers.
  • Automated portfolio management. Employee funds can be invested in a diversified and low-cost portfolio and rebalanced quarterly. This makes retirement investing easier for employees who are not comfortable managing their own funds.

did you know?did you know? Employee retirement benefits integrate closely with top payroll software, so employers and employees can easily track salaries and benefits side by side.

account type

Human Interest offers a variety of retirement plans. Each plan has its own rules and regulations, as determined by the IRS.

  • Traditional 401(k): Traditional 401(k) plans allow pretax deductions, which employers can choose whether to match.
  • Roth 401(k): Roth accounts allow for after-tax contributions and tax-free growth and distribution.
  • Safe Harbor 401(k): Safe harbor 401(k) plans include some matching provisions that allow business owners to maximize their own contributions each year.
  • 403(b): These plans are most commonly used by government agencies and nonprofits, but they can be useful for smaller churches and philanthropic organizations.
  • profit sharing: A portion of employees' 401(k) contributions each year can come from the company's profit-sharing, which is entirely at the business owner's discretion.

investment options

Human Interest keeps investment options simple for employees, focusing on a small lineup of mostly stock and bond mutual funds. Through Human Interest, employees get access to some funds with international exposure and some funds focused on real estate. However, the primary goal of Human Interest is to offer a selection of cost-effective funds that are diverse and easy to choose from. The company offers the following types of investments:

  • stock mutual funds
  • bond mutual funds
  • international mutual funds
  • real estate fund
  • an FDIC-insured cash deposit account

While Human Interest doesn't offer a ton of investment options, it focuses on reducing employees' expense and risk and limiting them to options that offer diversification. This makes it easier for employees to choose investment options that do not involve a lot of risk to their nest egg.


  • Mandatory: $120 per month base fee, plus $4 per eligible employee per month
  • Full: $150 per month base fee, plus $6 per eligible employee per month
  • Gatekeeper: $150 per month base fee, plus $8 per eligible employee per month

As with all Human Interest retirement plans, a one-time setup fee of $499 may apply. In addition to plan costs incurred by employers, enrolled employees pay an average fund fee of 0.5% per year, plus 0.07%.

ease of use

Signing up for Human Interest is very easy. Begin by navigating to the Get Started button on the homepage and identifying your business's workforce. Then, choose which payroll provider you use, and indicate whether your business has an existing retirement plan and if so, what type. Finally, provide contact information so that a human interests representative can contact you. To schedule a call with a Human Interest Representative, you can call them directly or submit your contact information online.

Once you've established a retirement plan with human interest in mind, administration and payroll integration become largely unified. Although the online help center has many helpful resources, concierge users can also ask questions to their dedicated account manager. Plan participation is also easier for employees, as Human Interest provides instructions on creating an email account, setting contribution rates, choosing investments, and exiting.

human interest
An employee dashboard makes it easy to manage retirement investments

Source: Human Interest

customer service

If you are considering human interest for the employee retirement needs of your business, it is easy to contact the sales team by phone or online form. Human Interest employers and employees can contact you by telephone Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, or you can fill out the contact form through the Human Interest Support Center. Plan administrators can contact customer support directly through their account representatives.


The biggest drawback we identified when reviewing Human Interest is its one-time installation fee of $499. These fees are common throughout the employee retirement benefits industry, but human interest incurs a high fee. The company sometimes waives this fee when running a promotion, and may be open to negotiation.

TipTip: Considering alternatives to human interest? Read our review of the ShareBuilder 401k or our American 401k review.

What is an Employee Retirement Benefit Provider?

Retirement benefit providers help business owners set up and operate retirement plans for themselves or their employees. Many providers offer a variety of services, including plan design or administration, proprietary investment options, investment management or payroll services.


To choose our best pick for affordability, we examined employee retirement benefit providers that kept costs low and didn't charge exorbitantly. When reviewing companies, we considered the setup, maintenance fees, and total cost per employee per month for the plan. Next, we considered the breadth of features and services provided by these affordable plan providers. We chose Human Interest because it offers a wide range of investment options, a mobile and/or online app, and top-notch customer service.

questions to ask

Is Human Interest a good company?

Human Interest is a very good company that specializes in streamlined online offerings. The company, which was valued at $1 billion in its most recent fundraising round, offers a main lineup of employer-sponsored retirement plans that are easy to set up and administer.

Is Human Interest a Good 401(k)?

Human Interest is an excellent 401(k) provider. Although the company is not the cheapest option available, it is extremely transparent and very reasonably priced. What's more, the company handles all plan administration and recordkeeping, integrates easily with the company's payroll and can even act as a planning assistant for a small, transparent fee.

Who is the master of human interest?

Human Interest is a startup founded by Paul Sawaya and Roger Lee. It also has outside investors including SoftBank, Newview Capital, Glin Capital, US Venture Partners, Wing Venture Capital, Uncork Capital, Slow Capital, Susa Ventures and others.

ground level

We recommend Human Interest…

  • Tech-savvy companies with half a dozen to several dozen full-time employees.
  • Small employers who want to easily manage safe harbor plans.
  • Small churches and foundations.

we No Recommend human interest…

  • Large employers with more than 50 employees.
  • Solopreneurs in need of a self-employed 401(k).
  • Business owners who mostly hire consultants and independent contractors.

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