Top Industries With the Best 401k Plans for 2013

Law tops our 2013 list of industries with the best 401(k) plans, while blue collar industries such as Manufacturing and Automotive beat out Health and Medicine.

“The range of industries topping this list shows that employers of all types are taking necessary steps to set up employees for a secure retirement by providing a robust 401k plan,” said Brooks Herman, Head of Data and Research for BrightScope. “We hope companies across the country are now inspired to evaluate the options available to workers and make positive changes that have the potential to make a huge impact to employees’ financial future over time.”

Top industries with the highest ranked 401k plans containing more than $100 million in assets:



# of Plans Evaluated

BrightScope Rating

1 Law 179 plans 82.75
2 Utilities 114 plans 77.32
3 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 61 plans 77.10
4 Technology 205 plans 75.33
5 Airlines 55 plans 74.65
6 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 191 plans 74.33
7 Business and Finance 416 plans 73.58
8 Manufacturing 1015 plans 72.54
9 Automotive 27 plans 69.93
10 Wholesale Trade 143 plans 69.26
11 Information 73 plans 69.17
12 Management of Companies and Enterprises 125 plans 68.51
13 Arts & Entertainment 22 plans 67.68
14 Health & Medicine 238 plans 66.98
15 Other Services 43 plans 66.20
16 Transportation and Warehousing 74 plans 65.78
17 Construction 169 plans 65.72
18 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 33 plans 65.66
19 Education 30 plans 65.64
20 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services 46 plans 63.83
21 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 11 plans 57.50
22 Retail Trade 164 plans 57.06
23 Hotels, Casinos, and Food Services 35 plans 54.38

BrightScope’s 401k plan Rating was developed by BrightScope, Inc. with the help of leading academics and independent 401k fiduciaries. Analyzing more than 200 individual data points, the BrightScope Rating algorithm can calculate a single numerical score for each 401k plan in the country. The data points examined cover broad categories such as total plan cost, company generosity and investment menu quality.

BrightScope has rated nearly 50,000 401k and 403b plans, spanning more than 57 million workers and over $3 trillion in assets. Industry adoption of the BrightScope Rating will lead to more cost-effective plans, increased participation rates, higher employee satisfaction and better outcomes for the 60 million employees who depend on their 401k plan for retirement.