BrightScope Streamlines Plan Component Ratings

Since our launch in 2009 we have seen steadily increasing usage of our ratings by sponsors, providers, advisors and the press, and have recently set new high water marks in traffic and paid subscribers across our product suite. While our BrightScope Rating system is used widely, we will continue to seek improvements that ensure the BrightScope ratings reflect the evolving …

Reviewing the DOL's Final Rule on Participant Fee Disclosure

Last week the Department of Labor published its final rule on participant fee disclosure, which is the last step in the Department’s three pronged, multi-year approach to increasing fee transparency in the defined contribution marketplace. Before we dive in to the participant fee regs, lets quickly review the Department’s first two fee disclosure initiatives: Disclosure to Government: The first step …

BrightScope Hits a Major Milestone

BrightScope recently released new ratings for over 10,000 plans, and updated ratings for thousands of previously-rated plans. In so doing, we hit a major milestone: We now have over 30,000 plans rated. Our rating and analytics become more valuable to our clients and partners when there are more plans included in our system. Due to this fact, we are proud …

Letter in Support of H.R. 1984

This Wednesday June 17th the House Committee on Education and Labor will meet to markup H.R. 1984, the 401k Fair Disclosure for Retirement Security Act of 2009. BrightScope has reviewed the bill in its current form and has expressed its full support for the legislation in a letter to the committee members. No piece of important legislation will ever be …

BrightScope's Response to the ICI

We would like to thank the ICI for formally responding to BrightScope’s concerns about their recent fee study. We shared those concerns  in our recent blog post. We encourage our readers to read the ICI response in its entirety before proceeding with this post. One of BrightScope’s goals is to bring full transparency to the 401k marketplace and help plan …

Reconciling the 401k Fee Estimates of the ICI and its Critics

In April, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) released a 401(k) fee survey entitled “Inside the Structure of Defined Contribution/401(k) Plan Fees: A Study Assessing the Mechanics of What Drives the ‘All-In’ Fee.”  ICI chairman John Murphy* has begun using the median fee from this survey  – 0.72% – as evidence that fees in the entire 401k marketplace are “quite a …

A Case Study in Working with BrightScope

In the last few months BrightScope has worked closely with numerous plan sponsors to update their information in our database in order to ensure their plans are accurately portrayed on BrightScope.com.  We learn from each of these interactions and felt it was appropriate to highlight a plan sponsor success story. Recently we have been working closely with the National Rural …

60 Minutes: "401k Recession"

The 60 minutes episode from last Sunday includes a fascinating piece of reporting about 401k plans.  Steve Kroft really captures the pain of 401k participants. There are also interesting interviews with Congressman George Miller, Attorney Brooks Hamilton and PSCA President David Wray. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8C1ZUrYhC0

Hidden Subsidies in the Structure of 401k Fees

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College put out an interesting brief this month on 401(k) fees.  While the brief didn’t contain anything completely new, it did tackle two issues that are very important, yet rarely discussed.  Both of these issues highlight a non-obvious subsidy that is incurring within 401k plans: 1.  Matching Fee Structure with Service Structure:  If …