15 most hated fees

Stand up to the pesky charges -- from checked-bag costs to retirement plan expenses -- that bug you the most.

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15. Shelling out big bucks on retirement plans
What it costs: $$$$

What you're mad about: Administrative costs and fund expenses in employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s can mean significant loss of wealth over a lifetime. An annual fee of 0.5% of assets can reduce your savings by 12.5% over 30 years, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Those of you at smaller companies are likely to bear heavier costs. Fees for plans with $5 billion in assets average 0.62%; fees for plans with $1 million average 2.1%, reports BrightScope.

How to fight back: First figure out what your plan's fees are. Check BrightScope.com, which lists that info for many employers. Yours not there? Consult the summary plan description on your provider's website. If your fees are higher than 1%, says Morningstar's Christine Benz, that's a bad sign. Ask HR if it can cut a better deal -- this strategy has worked for reader Sara Sina. And if outrageous fees persist, invest only up to the employer match in your 401(k) and redirect the rest of your contributions to an IRA invested in low-cost funds.

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Last updated June 11 2010: 3:40 PM ET
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