The cost of offering and participating in a 401(k) plan continues on a downward trajectory, according to analysis of the most available Form 5500 data by the Investment Company Institute and BrightScope.

For all plan sizes, total plan costs averaged 89 basis points in 2013, down from 102 basis points in 2009.

Of course, larger plans experienced significantly lower costs than the average for all plans.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.