“Why do my fund returns vary from the performance reports?” If you have compared your returns to the published reports for mutual funds or for FCMM-managed funds, you may have asked this question.
The primary reason for variance has to do with the timing of investments throughout the year. Fund performance is stated as a percentage of a stable amount (or also as dollars per $10,000 invested) that was in a fund at the beginning and end of the year.
Since most participants have contributions forwarded periodically through the year, their balances vary and their effective rate will be based on the investment flow and market together.
Another reason for the variance is that while public mutual funds reports typically show returns after the funds’ expenses are included, they don’t incorporate operating costs of the retirement plan. The true “net” returns for the participant’s account reflect results after all fund costs are included.