Saving for retirement is something that everyone should be doing. There’s really no better way to plan for your future than to set aside some money every month. At the same time, retirement saving can be a confusing topic. Which investments do you choose? How much do you need? And what company should you choose to administer your retirement plan?
There are hundreds of companies that you can use to start retirement accounts and save for your future. However, if you’re like most Americans, you main option will be whatever company your employer has contracted with. Most companies choose a financial institution or brokerage to provide investment accounts for their employees. One of the largest of these institutions is called Empower Retirement. If you’re looking for Empower Retirement reviews, or just more information on this company, you’ve come to the right place.
What Is Empower Retirement?
Empower Retirement is a financial services provider and record keeper. They are one of the largest retirement plan companies in the US, with more than 9.4 million individual participants and 40,000 organizations.
Empower Retirement contracts with large corporations, state- and municipal-run benefits providers, and more. Although you can sign up for an individual plan from Empower Retirement, the majority of plan participants will be employees of one of their corporate or governmental clients.
As a retirement plan record keeper, Empower Retirement handles the behind-the-scenes of retirement plan administration. This includes setting up each individual and company retirement plans, filing paperwork with the IRS and state revenue departments, and providing access to investment products like mutual funds and investment-grade bonds.
Empower Retirement Reviews
If your employer contracts with Empower Retirement, or if you’re looking into providers for your own individual plan, you may be wondering about Empower Retirement reviews. How do people tend to rate the company?
Overall, Empower Retirement reviews are not great. Many customers complain of high fees, poor customer service, and other issues with the company.
On Yelp, the company has scored 1.5 out of 5 stars, with over 200 reviews.
Empower Retirement’s parent company, Great-West Financial, has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. However, the company has 51 BBB complaints filed, and has a review score of 1/5 from user-submitted BBB reviews.
Pros and Cons of Empower Retirement
We analyzed Empower Retirement reviews to determine what are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of this service provider.
- A legitimate company trusted by 40,000+ organizations
- Provides tools to make a customized retirement plan
- Access to 130+ mutual funds for investment
- Ability to roll-over existing plans from past employers
- Offers a wide range of retirement accounts, as well as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
- Offers both traditional and ROTH accounts
- Asset-based fees charge you every year based on the value of your investments
- This is in addition to management fees on all mutual funds available from Empower Retirement
- Empower Retirement charges a variety of other fees, including transfer fees, withdrawal fees and more
- Many users report slow payouts and missing checks
- Many report that Empower’s customer service is slow or lacking
- Many report that it is difficult to accurately track investment performance
Empower Retirement for Employees
If you are an employee of a company that contracts with Empower Retirement, you’re likely already participating in a retirement plan through Empower. If this is the case, here’s what we’d recommend doing:
First, familiarize yourself with everything Empower Retirement has to offer. The default funds that you are invested in may not be your best option. There are around 130 mutual funds that you can choose from, each of which charges varying fees and tracks different investment classes.
Second, pick investments that suit your goals. If need be, Empower Retirement offers investment consultation services to help you choose – although some reviews complain about this optional service.
Third, if you are unhappy with what Empower offers, speak with your company Human Resources department. It’s possible that you may be able to transfer your retirement account to another provider.
Empower Retirement for Individuals
If you are an individual looking to set up your own retirement fund (outside of your employer’s offering), you have many choices. In most cases, you likely have better options than Empower Retirement.
If you’d like a provider with low fees and wide investment opportunities, we recommend picking one of the big brokerage firms:
- Fidelity Investments
- Charles Schwab
These large companies are known for offering the widest range of investment products. Most do not charge management or set-up fees (although most investment funds will charge some sort of fee). Some providers, such as Fidelity, now even offer zero fee ETFs and mutual funds.
As you can see, Empower Retirement reviews are not great overall. Most users who have taken the time to submit a review have complained about the service. If you have the choice, you’re likely better off going with another provider.
With that said, Empower Retirement is a legitimate company with thousands of high-profile institutional clients. It’s certainly not a scam – it’s just that their fees and higher than some competitors.
What do you think about Empower Retirement? Let us know in the comments!