Americans hold $4.2 trillion in 401(k) plans, according to the Investment Company Institute. An additional $6.5 trillion is in Individual Retirement Accounts.
But, in keeping with the Neoliberal Economic Assault on 99% of Americans the 401(k) plan was sold to America as a superior way for you to manage your retirement! But, all 401(k) turned out to be was another mechanism for Corporations to steal your money.
If you happen to be planning on retiring during one of Capitalism regular crisises say 2001 or 2007 for instance, well then you are truly screwed because the 401(k) you've been contributing too and the market in general, probably lost 50% or more of its' value.
But, it's the day-to-day, year after year nickel-and-diming fees which eventually allow Hedge Funds to steal thousands of dollars from your retirement account.
From the Center for American Progress (CAP) comes a study of the impact the often hidden fees which Wealth Mismanagement Firms use to siphon off your retirement funds.
The CAP study showed how raising the annual fee from 0.25% to 1% or 1.25% would take $70,000 to $100,000 from the employees 401(k) account.
Putting aside the current American Job Market where no employee is going to last 30 years at a company offering up to 5% matching funds for your 401(k) account, the bigger picture is the continuing Legerdemain and accounting gimmicks Hedge Funds use.
One of the ways, Vultures like Wealth Mismanagement Pro Bruce Rauner caused the Illinois Pension Crisis was by charging fees. Rauner's firm GTCR and other Hedge Funds gained access to Public Pensions in the 1990's and now we find they are underfunded.
By Rauner's own admission 2/3rds of GTCR funds were supplied by Public Pensions. In Illinois GTCR has "managed" money for the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) and the Illinois State Board of Investment, the state's largest and third-largest, respectively. Additionally, GTCR had access to state and municipal pension plans from the San Francisco City and County Employees' Retirement System to the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board.
For this "work" GTCR, takes consultation and management fees. Bruce Rauner got paid no matter what the funds he "managed" did.
So, it's not surprising that Illinois and other Public Pensions began to go into insolvency once Vandal Capitalists got their hands on the funds. In fiscal year 2009, TRS lost $4.4 Billion (22% of its' value) in 2008 TRS lost 5% of it's value because of the Management of their Portfolios by Rauner-types.
Hedge Funds aren't growing wealth, they are parasitic Rentiers clinging to productive workers, like Teachers, sucking money from the Working Class like leeches and Vultures.