Vanguard announced it is cutting fees by lowering the minimum investment amount needed to qualify for its Admiral share class.

The Valley Forge, Pa., fund giant previously only allowed investors that invested at least $100,000 to qualify for Admiral shares, which charge lower fees than its investor share class.

But Vanguard announced Wednesday it is cutting that minimum to $10,000 for Admiral shares of its index funds. The new minimum is $50,000 for Vanguard's actively managed funds.

A total of 52 Vanguard funds offer Admiral shares with the new eligibility requirements.

Vanguard, which had $1.5 trillion in assets under management, will convert qualifying accounts to Admiral shares in coming months, affecting nearly 2 million clients.

“Expanding the availability of Admiral Shares to a greater number of Vanguard clients represents another step in our ongoing efforts to lower the cost of investing,” said William McNabb, Vanguard’s chairman and CEO,, who noted that during the past year, Vanguard has delivered cost savings on a range of other products and services, including offering commission-free trades on Vanguard’s entire lineup of 62 exchange-traded funds, lowering commissions on stock and non-Vanguard ETF trades to $2 or $7 for most Vanguard clients, reducing expenses for participants in a number of 529 college savings plans with investments from Vanguard, launching suites of low-cost index funds and ETFs, and introducing the Vanguard Annuity Access service.