Ascensus 401k Review: Is It Your Best Option?

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Ascensus 401k Review: Is It Your Best Option?

Ascensus, LLC. is an American retirement and college savings services provider, the largest one in the country. The also works as a brokerage (acting as the intermediary between buyers and sellers of financial securities). Ascensus has several IRAs, HSAs, and 529 plans, as well as, the well-known Ascensus 401k plan.

Founded in 1975, the is currently headquartered in Dresher, Pennsylvania and has over $163 billion in assets under management. Ascensus currently has over 2,400 employees and generated a revenue of $302.5 million, in 2016. In 2017, Ascensus was ranked at 4,147 in the Inc. 5000, having achieved 65% growth.

Ascensus Leadership Team

Bob Guillocheau – Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Jim Gearin – Chief Operating Officer

James Lucania – Chief Financial Officer

Carl Negin – Chief Marketing Officer

John Schroed – Chief Information Officer

Ascensus 401k Plan Overview

are the highlights of the Ascensus 401k Plan.

Tax Benefits

All the employer contributions in the 401k plan are tax-deductible, and employers are not taxed on earnings. This attracts talented candidates and tends to boost employee morale.

If you opt for an integrated HSA account as well, all the money invested in that account is done with pre-tax contributions.

Third-Party Administration Services

The provides TPA services that help with plan design, administration, and consulting services to optimize your plan.

Ascensus also does compliance testing, making sure your plan is up to standards. It has partnered with Kravitz, an expert in Cash Balance plans. They help you control costs while making the most out of tax benefits and maximizing contribution.

Range of Features

The plan is designed for all types of companies including small business units. The has a of tools you can use to create and refine your savings plan and retirement strategy. The Retirement Outlook Tool helps compare the current reality of your savings with future expectations, letting you work on your retirement savings goals.

The automatic increase and enrollment features make it easier for participants to contributing. According to Ascensus, these automated features increase participation and contribution rates.

Portfolio Analysis

The majority of the investment options from the are in mutual funds. There are several low-cost (and high-return) mutual funds from other companies, as well.

Ascensus offers several institutional shares, R-shares, and A-shares for you to invest in. You can also opt for pre-built portfolios, baskets, and investments designed according to specific risk levels, as well as, financial standings.


Ascensus, as a plan administrator, connects participants and employers with investment providers and financial advisors that help clients make better decisions. The also provides continued support for both employers and employees.

You can contact Ascensus representatives on the website if you have any queries. If you want help with a new plan, you can call 800-345-6363. If you have any general inquiries or want specific help regarding financial services, you can call 800-346-3860, and go through the right channels.

Fees, Costs & Expenses

The typical participant fee is $25 and the asset fee can range between 0.45% and 1.5%. You can calculate the costs according to your plan with Ascensus’ pricing calculator.

The brokerage fees, costs, commission rates, and fund expenses of the various investment options are not disclosed on the website. You will have to contact a rep to get pricing details on those services.

Ascensus 401k Review

The following are some points that set Ascensus apart as a brokerage :

  • Ascensus has a Rating of 74, which is only slightly below the average in its peer group.
  • This comes out to the top 15% for Total Plan Cost.
  • It is one of the largest providers of recordkeeping and TPA services.
  • The pricing is very lenient compared to other providers.
  • The customer system is extensive. It has separate lines for all its services and has collaborated with several third-party financial advisors.

Ascensus focuses on three major services: retirement savings, college savings, and HSAs. If you combine all three services, you can create effective and flexible benefits plans for your employees.

What is Ascensus Best Known for?

With over 97,000 retirement plans, more than 4.6 million 529 accounts, and over 574,000 HSA integrated plans, Ascensus is best known for providing a wide range of services in one place.

Ascensus is best for:

  • Beginner Investors
  • Integrated Services
  • IRA Accounts
  • TPA & Recordkeeping Services

Compared to its competitors, Ascensus is the only to provide both retirement and college savings services, essentially helping increase employee retention in companies with younger employees.

Is the Ascensus 401k Plan Right for You?

Ascensus is more of an all-encompassing retirement and savings service provider and less of a 401k specialist. It’s geared more towards employers than employees.

For employers, it’s a pretty good option due to integrated services with decent fees. All in all, it’s best to compare Ascensus’ plan with plans from other providers before making a final decision.