Research

2016 Defined Contribution Survey

PLANSPONSOR's annual Defined Contribution (DC) Survey provides important client satisfaction information, as it measures and evaluates 401(k) and other DC providers according to feedback from our own plan sponsor clients. Major defined contribution providers are rated in the various client categories they serve, and benchmark information is collected for plan sponsors to gauge their plans against their peers.

Published in PLANSPONSOR November 2016

Navigate Research

NOTE: The three highest-scoring providers in each of 22 major service categories earned Best in Class awards, as did those providers with an net satisfaction rate above the asset group’s benchmark score (listed in each chart). “Service Commendations” were given to recordkeepers who did not receive Best in Class honors but had 90% of clients either “completely” or “mostly” satisfied with a particular service offering to receive a Service Commendation. See methodology for more detail.

PLAN ASSETS <$5MM (minimum of 25 responses; Best in Class benchmark of 60%)

= Best in Class award; = Service Commendation; = Received too few ratings in category and was thus ineligible for recognitions.
Technology
Participant call centerParticipant websiteSponsor websitePlan reportingPlan analytics/
benchmarking
American Trust Retirement
Ascensus
BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services
Correll Co.
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions
Empower Retirement
Fidelity Investments
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
Nationwide
Newport Group
OneAmerica
Paychex, Inc.
Principal
Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
The Standard
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
T. Rowe Price
VALIC
Voya Financial
Education
Online tools/
services/advice
Participant statementsEducation programsPlan communi
cations
Enrollment assistanceOnsite meetings
American Trust Retirement
Ascensus
BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services
Correll Co.
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions
Empower Retirement
Fidelity Investments
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
Nationwide
Newport Group
OneAmerica
Paychex, Inc.
Principal
Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
The Standard
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
T. Rowe Price
VALIC
Voya Financial
Plan Administration
General plan administrationRetiree services/
payments
Form 5500 processingCompliance support/testing
American Trust Retirement
Ascensus
BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services
Correll Co.
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions
Empower Retirement
Fidelity Investments
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
Nationwide
Newport Group
OneAmerica
Paychex, Inc.
Principal
Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
The Standard
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
T. Rowe Price
VALIC
Voya Financial
Investment/Fees
Investment offeringsFee clarity/
disclosure
Value for price
American Trust Retirement
Ascensus
BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services
Correll Co.
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions
Empower Retirement
Fidelity Investments
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
Nationwide
Newport Group
OneAmerica
Paychex, Inc.
Principal
Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
The Standard
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
T. Rowe Price
VALIC
Voya Financial
Account/Service Teams
Legislative/Regulatory updatesService team knowledgeService team responsivenessService team consistency
American Trust Retirement
Ascensus
BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services
Correll Co.
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions
Empower Retirement
Fidelity Investments
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
Nationwide
Newport Group
OneAmerica
Paychex, Inc.
Principal
Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
The Standard
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
T. Rowe Price
VALIC
Voya Financial

Methodology

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Survey/Best in Class
Between early July and mid-September, approximately 40,000 survey questionnaires were sent to defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors included in the PLANSPONSOR magazine database, as well as to client lists supplied by defined contribution recordkeepers; a total of 4,819 responses were received by the close of the survey, September 23. To qualify for ratings, a provider needed a minimum of 35 client responses; to be rated in a particular asset category, a provider had to meet specified minimum response levels. A total of 29 providers qualified for listing; additional details on these and other providers can be found in our 2016 Recordkeeping Survey.
 
Provider Listings
Providers were rated in 56 areas of ­participant/sponsor services covering five broad ­categories: Technology, Education, Plan Administration, Fees and Investments, and Account/Client Service Teams. The percentage of “completely satisfied” ratings among all categories was calculated both overall and in each of six plan asset sizes; percentages were then ranked among qualifying providers and flagged (u) if the score was within the top quartile of all scores.  The recommendation likelihood score is based on Satmetrix Systems’ Net Promoter ScoreSM.‡ For more information, contact Brian O’Keefe at brian.okeefe
@strategic-i.com.

Archive

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DEFINED CONTRIBUTION SURVEY - Provider Ratings

For nearly two decades, PLANSPONSOR's annual Defined Contribution Survey has been the most important industry benchmark, measuring and evaluating 401(k) and other DC providers according to feedback from their own clients. Major defined contribution providers are rated in the various client categories they serve, and benchmark information is collected for plan sponsors to gauge their plans against their peers.

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