Human Interest Review

By Lori Fairbanks, writer
Apr 09, 2019
Image Credit: juststock / Getty Images

Human Interest, formerly known as Captain401, is an all-in-one 401(k) retirement services provider for small businesses and startups that have between two and 200 employees. It takes care of plan administration and investment management services, and also manages the companies it partners with for record-keeping, compliance, custody and trading. By administrating all of these components for you, it makes it easy to offer this popular type of retirement plan to your employees.

Human Interest

Human Interest

The Best Employee Retirement Plans of 2020

The Verdict

Human Interest is a fully bundled retirement plan provider that manages every aspect of the plan, making it easy and affordable for small businesses to provide 401(k) plans for their employees and save for retirement.

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Additionally, the pricing charged by this 401(k) company is all-inclusive and transparent, which is refreshing among 401(k) providers. The company offers customizable 401(k) plan designs including traditional, Roth, safe harbor, profit-sharing and 403(b) options.


Human Interest posts its pricing on its website, making it easy to see what it costs to set up the plan and how much you'll pay for it each month, allowing you to see upfront whether or not it's within your budget. Even so, it's worth your time to call the company for more information, as there may be a promotion on the setup fee (which was the case when we called the company). 

Here's what you, as the employer and plan sponsor, can expect to pay for Human Interest's 401(k) plan: 

  • Setup fee: $499
  • Monthly service fee: $120 plus $4 per employee
  • Plan termination fee: $750. Every retirement plan services company charges this fee, and this is lower than average. Human Interest has a one-year contract with a 90-day opt-out period 

There are no additional or separate fees for administration, record-keeping or fund custody. You will need to get an ERISA bond from a separate provider of your choosing. The company can recommend one of its partners, and the rep we spoke with said that company charges between $80 and $100 for three years. 

Here's what plan participants pay with a Human Interest 401(k) plan:

  • Annual investment fee: 5% of the account balance
  • Fund expense ratio: .08%, on average 

The company notes on its website that the average 0.58% that plan participants pay in fees is much lower than the 1.89% industry average for small 401(k) plans. 


One of the drawbacks of many 401(k) plans is that you have to work with multiple companies or financial professionals to handle different parts of the plan. For example, one company is the fund custodian, another is a third-party administrator, yet another is a record-keeper, and then you may also have to hire a financial advisor to help you select a roster of funds for plan participants to choose from. Human Interest takes care of all aspects of the plan and is the only company that you'll directly work with to administer its 401(k) plan, saving you both time and money. 

Here are more details on what Human Interest offers with its plans. 

Fiduciary support. Not every retirement services company serves as plan fiduciaries, but Human Interest does. It can serve as either the 3(38) or 3(21) fiduciary, helping small business owners like you comply with the Department of Labor's ERISA regulations. 

Account setup. Human Interest's setup and enrollment processes are entirely online, and the company estimates that it takes around 15 minutes to set up an account. After you submit enrollment forms, it takes between four and six weeks to go live. It also offers complimentary training for your employees. 

Payroll integration. Some of the payroll systems that Human Interest integrates with are ADP, Gusto, Intuit Online Payroll, Justworks, Namely, Paychex, Paylocity and QuickBooks Online. 

Investment options. The company's fund roster is largely comprised of Vanguard's low-fee index funds. However, if you prefer to pick your own funds, you can choose from more than 30,000 index and mutual funds that include options from BlackRock, Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Oppenheimer. 

Advisory services. Human Interest offers an automated investing service – or robo advisor – to help plan participants choose their investments, based on their age, long-term financial goals and risk tolerance. They can access this tool from their dashboards. 

Reporting requirements. The company helps you comply with the IRS's reporting requirements by preparing Form 5500 for you and annually conducting nondiscrimination testing. 

Loans. Plan participants can take out loans against their retirement plan. Costs include a $100 origination fee and a $75 annual maintenance fee. The interest rate is prime plus 1%. Participants have five years to repay the loan, but if they leave your employment, they must repay the loan in full within 60 days. 

Rollovers. Human Interest allows plan participants to roll over their old retirement savings accounts into their new Human Interest accounts. Roth IRAs are ineligible, per the IRS. 

Additional Considerations

You can contact the company by phone or email to learn more about its 401(k) plans. It provides a dedicated account manager to its clients that you and your employees can contact if you need assistance with your plan or your Human Interest accounts. 

We contacted the company as part of our testing, posing as a small business owner seeking a 401(k) plan for our employees. Our first call went to voicemail; our second call was answered by a rep who didn't work with businesses as small as our faux business. But, once we were on the phone with the right rep, we had a positive interaction. She was professional and knowledgeable as she explained how the program works and what it costs, offered a discount on the setup fee, answered our many questions and offered to follow up with us by email, which she promptly did. 

If you prefer to do some online research or troubleshooting before you contact the company, you can find an overview of the company's offerings, pricing information, FAQs and a blog on the company's website. 


Human Interest didn't have the lowest pricing in our testing, but it was competitive, and as the company notes on its website, it's lower than the industry average. It was also the only all-inclusive 401k provider we tested that had a set term length as part of its contract while its termination fee is about $250 below average.

Editor's note: Looking for the right employee retirement plan for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Human Interest

Human Interest

The Best Employee Retirement Plans of 2020

The Verdict

Human Interest is a fully bundled retirement plan provider that manages every aspect of the plan, making it easy and affordable for small businesses to provide 401(k) plans for their employees and save for retirement.

Lori Fairbanks has years of experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she worked as a magazine editor and then as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of companies, including marketing firms and a medical university. She now writes about small business finance, including accounting software, credit card processing and point-of-sale systems for and Business News Daily.