Vanguard 403(b) program—low costs for retirement savings  


Every 403(b) plan should have a low-cost investment option. Make the Vanguard 403(b) program a smart choice for your organization.


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Learn more about the 403(b) program at Vanguard. Call 800-662-2739.



Key benefits of 403(b) plans

When you offer your employees a 403(b) plan, you're giving them the opportunity to save for retirement in a plan that offers tax advantages, flexibility, and generous contribution limits.

You can include mutual funds or annuity contracts (offered by insurance companies) in your plan. So as an employer, it's important for you to understand the differences between these products and make informed decisions about the investment options you make available in your plan.

Learn more about the benefits of mutual funds »

A focus on your employees

Providing your employees with an opportunity to save for retirement is an important objective for you as a plan sponsor—and we can help. 

  • Our 403(b) associates can offer personal assistance, while our website provides 24-hour account access and a variety of investment planning tools and interactive programs.
  • Our unique client-owned structure means that our only loyalty is to our investors. We're owned by our funds, which are owned by our clients, so we have only our clients' long-term interests in mind, not the latest investment fads.
  • We focus on the long term, so we're uniquely equipped to help your employees create an investment plan tailored to their circumstances and to provide access to timely educational resources appropriate for their stage of planning.

Learn more about our approach to investing »

Why offer Vanguard mutual funds

Costs matter
You can help your employees make the most of their retirement savings by offering them a diverse fund lineup with low costs.

  • We manage our funds at cost. Our clients pay only what it costs us to run our funds—all with no sales commissions, 12b-1 distribution or marketing fees, or hidden transaction fees. The average Vanguard fund expense ratio is 82% less than the industry average.*
  • High costs and fees cut directly into investment returns. That's why it's important to know what your employees are paying to invest through your plan. Over time, lower costs can help increase your employees' chances of reaching their retirement goals.
  • We offer a broad lineup of index and actively managed funds, as well as Target Retirement Funds—which can be a one-fund investing approach.

Our 403(b) services

Whether you run your 403(b) or work through a third-party administrator, we'll help you fulfill your fiduciary and administrative responsibilities.

  • We have a dedicated 403(b) support center and secure plan sponsor website, and can share information in the industry-standard SPARK format.
  • The services and features of the Vanguard 403(b) program are compatible with most plan documents, allowing you to easily name Vanguard as an authorized investment provider.

All investments are subject to risk.

Investments in Target Retirement Funds are subject to the risks of their underlying funds. The year in the fund name refers to the approximate year (the target date) when an investor in the fund would retire and leave the workforce. The fund will gradually shift its emphasis from more aggressive investments to more conservative ones based on its target date. An investment in a Target Retirement Fund is not guaranteed at any time, including on or after the target date.

*Vanguard average expense ratio: 0.18%. Industry average expense ratio: 1.01%. Sources: Vanguard and Lipper, a Thomson Reuters Company, as of December 31, 2015.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

We charge a low annual $15 custodial account fee per fund to help offset the additional expenses incurred by 403(b) accounts. This fee is waived for Voyager® and Flagship Services® clients.

When taking withdrawals from an employer-sponsored retirement plan before age 59½, you may have to pay ordinary income tax plus a 10% federal penalty tax.

Investment management services provided by Vanguard to the Vanguard funds and ETFs are at cost.


Invest now

Log on to Vanguard Small Business Online®
Download a
403(b)(7) enrollment kit

Vanguard 403(b) program

For employees:
Save for retirement in the Vanguard 403(b) program

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