I am considering moving my 401(k) assets from a previous employer into an IRA account. Are the underlying investment options and administrative fees for 401(k) plans a more or less expensive option than investing through an IRA account?
Jean this is an excellent question. The answer is that it depends. Many larger company 401(k) plans offer a menu of solid, low cost options with relatively low administrative costs due to their size and buying power. This is not universal to all large plans and many smaller and mid sized plans also offer solid options with relatively low expenses. You will really need to do a review of your former employer's plan. The 401(k) fee disclosures due to commence later this year might be of help to you in this effort.
On the flip side an IRA account can offer you more options and may be lower cost, esecially if you avoid banks or brokers that charge excessive fees and offer only higher cost funds, often with sales commissions involved. Best to look at fund supermarkets like Schwab, Fidelity, TD, and possibly Vanguard if doing this yourself.