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At Fidelity, I believe a “non-prototype plan” is simple on for which they do little more than play a “passive role” and allow you to invest your money using their brokerage services and/or buy their products. Thus, if you have a solo 401(k) and serve as your own trustee, you won’t have to them to ask “mother may I” questions. For example, may I buy and hold this asset, which the IRS and/or DOL might or might not approve of if they ever looked at it; which might involve UBIT or UDFI, something Fidelity won’t go near, largely limiting you to choices from their menu of investment offerings.
So “non-PP” means little except as it allows us to guess what your friend is using as their retirement vehicle.
As for where fees come from, I imaging they don’t want retirement funds diminished except when obliged, e.g., RMDs.
Do others agree here?