JP Morgan 401K Retirement Account Review

JP Morgan Retirement Plan Services LLC is an excellent provider of retirement plan services, both for companies and individuals (401k programs and IRAs, to name two). The site is easy to navigate and they provide a wealth of tools to help make investment decisions in the short, medium and long-term.

The first thing that stands out to the new user is the simplicity of the site. There are links to the most important and visited areas of the site, not just with written descriptions but with icons that make identifying them very easy. This theme of “ease of use” continues throughout the site and is one of the most important in creating a positive experience for the user.

Another differentiating aspect that sets JP Morgan Retirement Services web experience apart is the high level of customer service provided. The “Site Help” section is well organized and takes the user to the principal areas they may need to consult if they were not able to locate them via other means. They also make available a secure email option without having to leave the site, telephone numbers for different needs and traditional addresses commonly required by clients, for example to send a check to fund the account or repay a loan. An area they could improve upon here would be to have a chat option available for immediate assistance via the site.

There are 5 tabs that facilitate navigation and garnering the most information in the least amount of time: My Account, Education Center, News and Quotes, Financial Tools and My Profile.

The My Profile allows for quick and easy visualization of account contact and security information as well as modification of the same including username, password, contact info, beneficiaries and the like.

The News and Quotes area is again quite easy to navigate and provides data and graphs (6 styles of graphs to choose from) from intraday to 10 year time periods on the major stock indices as well as any listed stocks, bonds and funds on the 3 main indices. An instant benchmark comparison option is available as too is the possibility to compare to any other ticker. They even allow you to add some simple Technical Analysis tools, moving averages, stock splits and dividends as well as earnings announcements to better understand the influence of these on price movements over time. Other sites are neither as robust nor as easy to interact with. The last great feature here is the watch list which allows you to add a list of items (stocks, ETFs, etc) to follow and then chart and analyze very easily via tabs. There is also a great wealth of news available (220,000+ articles available at present) with many more added every day in very close to real time.

The Education Center provides many useful guides and suggestions as well as other tools especially designed for the new user or new investor. Some of the sections found here are: the 401k quiz which helps identify your investor profile, “The way forward”, “Getting started”, “Life events”, “Am I on track” and others. The general idea in this area is to get an idea of what retirement investing is all about, how to go about making a plan for the type of retirement you expect to enjoy, how much and in what to invest considering your income, risk tolerance and other variables.

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The Financial Tools tab has a number of tools available to help one analyze different scenarios regarding contributions, diversification, investment amounts, return scenarios, time value of money, analysis of traditional versus Roth contribution options, withdrawal rate scenario analysis and a projected retirement income calculator, among others. All of these, especially when used together, give the investor a simple yet powerful way to analyze which investment options and strategies may be best suited for their particular goals, investment horizon, income level / contribution level, and more.

The My Accounts tab gives access to, well, your account or accounts as the case may be. The options will vary slightly depending on whether you have 401k, IRA, Roth IRA or a combination of the above with the company. The account overview section provides a quick look at the balance, rate of return for various periods and the YTD activity and returns, including a graphic view. Account history and on-demand statements are also available as is the possibility to consult specific types of transactions all of which is very simple and adds value as tools for the investor. For the 401k investor, there is summary information regarding the plan benefits and limitations as well as prospectuses and summary information for the various funds available. In addition, forms and publications are available to be downloaded to facilitate rollovers into or out of the account, change of beneficiary form, annual report, etc.

JP Morgan 401K Retirement Plan

Managing investments from this section is again quite simple. One can either follow suggested diversification and investment choices based on the investor profile and target retirement date, choose one’s own allocation for present balance and future contributions based on percentages or dollar amounts, and choose specific stocks or ETF funds as permitted by the plan (or at will with the IRA).

The 401k plan allows for loans with payback of the same at prevailing interest rates up to a maximum of 50% of the vested funds or $50.000 (the lower of the two) and up to a 60-month repayment period. There is a $50 fee for the original processing and, I believe, a $2 fee each month to process the repayment contribution and allocation.

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JP Morgan 401(K) Plan Conclusion

Among the highlights to be mentioned in comparing the JP Morgan 401k Retirement Plan Services to other similar services are: the ease of use; the completeness, amount and quality of tools and information available; the low cost of trading (almost non-existent for funds, although some require a minimum holding period of 60-90 days to avoid a 2% fee at liquidation) and the possibility to access up to 50% of vested funds with almost all the costs (interest payments) being credited back into one’s own retirement account. JP Morgan has been a trusted name in investing for over a century and any 401k investor would do well to consider their services.

Other popular articles of interest are M1 Finance IRA and TD Ameritrade IRA.