Human Interest Eliminates 401(k) Transaction Fees, Reimagines Retirement Benefits to Support Underserved Workforce

San Francisco company expands efforts to address the national retirement savings crisis and help America’s 60 million SMB employees1 access a path to financial independence

SAN FRANCISCO--()--In a striking move for the retirement services sector, Human Interest has eliminated 401(k) transaction fees to improve the financial wellness of its customers and their employees, with a goal to reach millions of people working on Main Street America. Launched in 2015, Human Interest continues to redefine retirement benefits by offering small and medium-sized businesses and their more than 60 million employees access to an affordable, easy-to-use 401(k).

“A 401(k) is a powerful savings vehicle but many people are not aware that it can come with unexpected financial penalties and punishments. What’s worse is that these fees can disproportionately affect the people most in need of securing their financial future,” said Jeff Schneble, CEO of Human Interest. “These fees are often unforeseen and tend to be levied at moments when people are already feeling some pain, such as a divorce or job loss. If you’re in the process of a painful life upheaval, paying surprise fees can feel like salt in the wound.”

Human Interest announced several new initiatives that build on an already low-cost offering and underscore the company’s belief that a path to financial independence is something that people in all lines of work should have access to, including:

The elimination of transaction fees - Effective today, Human Interest will no longer charge plan sponsors or participants any of the more than twenty 401(k) transaction fees that are common throughout the industry. This includes fees paid by participants when they take money out of their 401(k) or divide assets during a divorce, as well as fees paid by a company when they leave their 401(k) provider.

Two new offerings to solve 401(k) administration and compliance headaches - With the new Complete and Concierge packages, Human Interest can now serve as the Plan Administrator and offer a higher tier of support for its customers.

“Many small businesses are surprised by the complexity and time involved in being a 401(k) Plan Administrator. The burden of managing all of the reporting, disclosure, and filing requirements and the stress of knowing you could be personally liable for mistakes can be overwhelming,” added Schneble.

For customers, Human Interest now takes on the hassle of sourcing an ERISA Fidelity bond and ensuring it doesn’t expire or become out of compliance; serves as the 3(16) fiduciary for businesses looking to offload 401(k) administration and compliance headaches; handles the preparation, signing & filing of IRS documents; and provides dedicated account management for businesses that want a personal touch and a partner who knows their account inside and out.

A proprietary recordkeeping platform - In an ongoing effort to enhance retirement benefit plan services, Human Interest has developed its own recordkeeping platform, a distinctive move given that most 401(k) providers rely on third parties. Owning end-to-end technology allows Human Interest to deliver faster response times and enhanced customer experience, including easier, more streamlined plan administration. By year-end, the majority of Human Interest’s customers will be serviced on its proprietary recordkeeping platform.

A new brand - Human Interest is unveiling a new brand to support its next chapter of growth, including a powerful visual identity and logo which are now reflected across its website, products, and other touchpoints (with more to come). The upward slope in the new logo symbolizes growth, drive, and optimism.

“Financial security matters now more than ever. Our customer acquisition rate is up 3x year-over-year in the midst of a pandemic, a testament to the need for more accessible retirement benefits and quality of the services we provide,” said Schneble.

Over the last year, Human Interest has secured $70 million in financing, including a $50 million Series C, and was recognized as one of America’s Best Startups by Forbes and a Best Place To Work by the San Francisco Business Times.2 The company has doubled its headcount and opened a new headquarters office in San Francisco’s Financial District. As part of its commitment to creating a more equitable financial future for American workers, Human Interest developed a series of market insights on How the SMB Workforce Saves, covering timely topics such as the Women’s Wage Gap and the Racial Retirement Wealth Gap.

About Human Interest

Human Interest is an affordable, full-service 401(k) provider that makes it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to help their employees save for retirement. The company was founded in 2015 to ensure that people in all lines of work have access to retirement benefits and a path to financial independence. Headquartered in San Francisco, Human Interest has helped more than 60,000 employees working at 2,000+ businesses across America. For more information please visit or follow us on LinkedIn.


  1. Small Business Administration, 2020
  2. See disclosures

401(k) participant transaction fees do not include investment management (asset-based) fees. 401(k) participant transaction fees include transactions such as check fees, rollover fees, distribution fees, and fees related to loans from 401(k) accounts.

Human Interest received the titles of "Best Places to Work" and "Best Startup Employer" according to third-parties, the San Francisco Business Times (as of 04/24/2020) and Forbes (as of 04/09/2020), respectively using the following methodology: 1) San Francisco Business Times: All Best Places to Work winners are determined exclusively on the basis of their employees' responses to the Best Places to Work Survey. Employee responses from the 30 standard survey questions, along with the number of employees that respond to the survey, are calculated to determine the company’s overall score and ranking. 2) Forbes: Forbes and Statista selected America’s Best Startup Employers from 10,000 companies based on an innovative methodology evaluating employer excellence in three ways: 1) Employee Satisfaction: extensive research was conducted on ‘Average Length of Employment’, ‘Employee Ratings’, and ‘Quantity of Ratings’, 2) Employer Reputation: a measurement of social media success; company specific information was algorithmically extracted from social media channels such as news sites, micro-blogs, blogs and social networks, and 3) Company Growth: extensive metric calculations were evaluated including ‘Website Traffic’, ‘Job Openings’, ‘Headcount Information’, and ‘Funding Information’.


Jennifer Compton


Jennifer Compton