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

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Top 5 Providers

by Net Recommendation/Promoter Scoresm,* by Asset Sizes
PLAN ASSETS <$5MM
1 Correll Co.96.2%
2 BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services94.1%
3 CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions89.5%
4 Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group84.6%
5 Empower Retirement81.1%
PLAN ASSETS $5MM - $25MM
1 CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions91.7%
2 American Trust Retirement90.5%
2 Securian Financial Group, Inc.90.5%
4 BOK Financial90.0%
5BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services85.7%
PLAN ASSETS >$25MM - $50MM
1 Empower Retirement82.5%
2 Bank of America Merrill Lynch69.6%
3 The Standard66.7%
4 Principal65.0%
5 Newport Group64.0%
PLAN ASSETS >$50MM - $200MM
1 Newport Group85.7%
2 Empower Retirement81.0%
3 VALIC78.1%
4 Fidelity Investments74.4%
5 T. Rowe Price72.4%
PLAN ASSETS >$200MM - $1B
1 Vanguard86.7%
2 TIAA84.2%
3 Milliman, Inc.75.0%
4 Bank of America Merrill Lynch74.1%
5 Transamerica Retirement Solutions70.0%
PLAN ASSETS >$1B
1 Voya Financial76.9%
2 TIAA75.0%
3 Nationwide70.0%
3 T. Rowe Price70.0%
3 Vanguard70.0%
Note
*Net Recommendation/Promoter Score is based on Satmetrix Systems’ Net Promoter ScoreSM methodology and represents the percentage of respondents “likely to recommend” the provider minus the percentage who are “neutral” or “likely to recommend against.” See methodology for more detail.

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.

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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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