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Enhance your retirement plan with Vanguard funds

Looking to enrich your existing retirement plan with quality mutual funds? Our investment-only service opens the door for you to offer Vanguard funds.

How the service works

With the Vanguard Retirement Investment Program, you can add more than 150 Vanguard funds and other investments to your existing plan (if the plan allows). Your current third-party administrator or trustee(s) will continue to manage recordkeeping and other day-to-day activities for your plan.

You can also contribute to and manage your investments completely online. In addition, your employees can access our tools and calculators, which can help them quickly learn how to create their own investment strategy.

The program can be used to enhance any employer-sponsored retirement plan. You must already have a plan document in place before you enroll.

Who should invest

  • Small-business owners who already offer a retirement investment program.
  • Employers looking for a simple, cost-effective way to supplement an existing retirement plan.
  • Employers who have or are forming a retirement plan that permits investment-only accounts at different providers.

A range of low-cost investments

  • Employees can choose from many Vanguard mutual funds, including our even lower-cost Admiral™ Shares, suitable for retirement investing.

Easy account management

  • Vanguard sets up one account (a "pooled" account) for each fund your plan holds. The investment assets of all participants will be combined in each account. Your plan administrator keeps track of the contributions.
  • Use to view account balances, perform transactions, take advantage of planning tools, and learn about investing.
  • A plan trustee or authorized representative has several options for moving money between Vanguard funds, whether on a recurring schedule or on demand. These features can be established online, by phone, or in writing.
  • Only trustees or their agents may request withdrawals online, over the phone, or by mail.

Account fees & minimums

  • There are no fees to set up or maintain the Vanguard Retirement Investment Program.
  • The average Vanguard mutual fund expense ratio is 84% less than the industry average.*
  • Some Vanguard funds have purchase or redemption fees. View each fund's profile for fees and minimums.
  • The minimum initial investment is the minimum balance required for each Vanguard fund you choose—$3,000 for most funds.

How to invest

  • Establish the plan by mail.
  • Contribute to an account online or by mail.

How to enroll

It's easy to get started. Just download and fill out the program kit.

Get complete portfolio management

We can custom-develop and implement your financial plan, giving you greater confidence that you're doing all you can to reach your goals.

Make retirement saving easy

If you don't know how to start saving for retirement, we can help you figure out how much you'll need and how to balance all your savings goals.

Consolidate your accounts

Consider moving accounts you hold elsewhere to Vanguard. You'll enjoy more control of your portfolio now and get a clear picture of your investment strategy.


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Mutual fund

A type of investment that pools shareholder money and invests it in a variety of securities. Each investor owns shares of the fund and can buy or sell these shares at any time. Mutual funds are typically more diversified, low-cost, and convenient than investing in individual securities, and they're professionally managed.

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An investment that represents part ownership in a corporation. Each share of stock is a proportional stake in the corporation's assets and profits.

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A loan made to a corporation or government in exchange for regular interest payments. The bond issuer agrees to pay back the loan by a specific date. Bonds can be traded on the secondary market.

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A type of investment that gives you the right to either buy or sell a specified security for a specific price on or before the option’s expiration date.

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CD (certificate of deposit)

An insured, interest-bearing deposit that requires the depositor to keep the money invested for a specific period of time or face penalties. Brokered CDs can be traded on the secondary market.

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ETF (exchange-traded fund)

A type of investment with characteristics of both mutual funds and individual stocks. ETFs are professionally managed and typically diversified, like mutual funds, but they can be bought and sold at any point during the day using straightforward or sophisticated strategies.

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Expense ratio

The annual operating expenses of a mutual fund or ETF (exchange-traded fund), expressed as a percentage of the fund's average net assets. It's calculated annually and removed from the fund's earnings before they're distributed to investors, directly reducing investors' returns. For example, if you had $10,000 invested in a fund with an expense ratio of 0.20%, you’d pay about $20 a year out of your investment returns.

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Purchase & redemption fees

Some funds charge a fee when you buy shares to offset the cost of certain securities. Some funds charge a fee when you sell fund shares, or when you buy or sell shares within a specific time period. These restrictions are an effort to discourage short-term trading.