Today BrightScope is pleased to announce the Top 30 401k Plans of 2013. BrightScope’s Top 30 list comprises large 401k plans with high overall quality, as measured by the BrightScope Rating. The BrightScope Rating measures how effective a 401k plan is at getting its participants to retirement. More details about the BrightScope Rating can be obtained in the FAQ section of the BrightScope website.
“Each year since our founding, we have released a Year-End Top 30 Ratings list to highlight the very best 401k plans in the country. This year is no different,” says Mike Alfred, CEO and co-founder of BrightScope. “The beauty of the BrightScope Rating is that it is entirely quantitative. It is not a survey or political contest. The elite 401k plans on this list only appear there because they are highly likely to deliver their respective plan participants to a secure and dignified retirement.”
Which traits define the plans that make the Top 30 Plans List?
1. Generous Company Contributions:
Company contributions are a major component of the BrightScope Rating and thus the Top 30 Plans List. Offering a match or profit sharing contribution to the plan is a great incentive for employees to participate and defer their salary towards retirement. Ernst & Young, Wellington Management, and United Airlines were some of the most generous plans on the Top 30 List. The average company generosity was $11,600 and can be in the form of a company match or profit-sharing.
2. Immediate Plan Eligibility:
A plan’s eligibility period is the length of time between when an employee is hired and when they are eligible to participate in the plan. Short plan eligibility requirements allow new hires to save more towards retirement. This year’s Top 30 list includes twenty-six plans with immediate eligibility. Removing barriers to saving is important to the top plans.
3. Immediate Vesting:
While a participant’s elective deferrals are always immediately vested, company contributions can take up to six years to vest depending upon the plan. Twenty-one of the Top 30 plans offer immediate vesting of company contributions thus ensuring that the money in their account is theirs to keep.
4. Low Fees:
Plan costs can greatly affect investment returns therefore altering participant account balances. BrightScope’s Total Plan Cost (TPC) calculations include investment expense ratios and administrative costs. Among plans found in this year’s Top 30 list, the average Total Plan Cost has dropped by 1 basis point to 0.28%.
5. High Participation Rates:
The first step in saving for retirement is participating in an employer’s retirement plan. We have seen participation rates climb to almost 96% in this year’s list.
6. Salary Deferral:
Plans within the Top 30 list average over $12,500 in salary deferrals per participant. Companies can incentivize their employees to save in a number of ways. For example, in 2012, Google’s default automatic deferral percentage was 6% and they raised that to 10% in 2013.
Statistics of the 2013 Top 30 List:
- Target Date Funds make inroads. Last year, 4.9% of Top 30 Plans’ assets were in a Target Date Fund; this year 5.4% of plan assets are in target date funds.
- Index funds growth continues. Index funds account for 33% of assets in the Top 30 Plans year, up from 29% of last year’s assets.
- NFL Second Career Savings Plan is the #1 plan. Last year, the NFL Players played without a collective bargaining agreement, so company generosity was much lower. With a collective bargaining agreement in place for the most recent year, retirement savings for the plan were significant.
- Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation topped over $1 billion in plan assets and became eligible for this list. We welcome them at the number 22 spot.
- Anadarko Petroleum Corporation saw a move to number 10 from the 20 spot last year due to increases in participation rate and company generosity.
The entire list of the 2013 Top 30 401k Plans with more than $1 billion in assets:
To learn more about the BrightScope 2013 Top 30 401k Plans List please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This award is based on plan experience through 12/31/2012.
*DISCLAIMER: Ratings continually change as data is updated over time. Ratings should be viewed as a “snapshot in time.” To view current ratings information for a given plan click to view the companies plan page. The rating on the plan page may not match the rating at the time of the release of the rankings.