Advisers to 401(k) plans recently have revisited the wisdom of offering annuities, in light of last year’s severe market downturn. But group annuities are being criticized for subjecting investors to lockup periods of five years or longer and a variety of additional fees.

Group annuity contracts are often more complex than plan sponsors realize, riddled with hidden charges and lock-up periods, Forbes reports, in an article titled, “Retirement Plans From Hell.” The trouble is, the insurance companies that sold them to sponsors did so by motivating salespeople to be highly aggressive via generous commissions. Marketing materials touted low-cost to employers, but left out all of the charges their workers would be subjected to.

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