BEST IN CLASS 401(k) PLANS

Methodology

Recipients of the 2017 Best in Class 401(k) Plan designation were selected from the 3,381 401(k) plans that responded to the 2016 PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution (DC) Survey. Plans were rated by way of a proprietary system that weighted usage/implementation of more than 30 criteria related to plan design, oversight/governance and participant outcomes. Examples of evaluation criteria include employee participation and deferral rates, level of employer contributions, eligibility/vesting requirements and existence of an investment committee. Numeric scores were then assigned to each attribute, with higher scores given for use of features that were viewed as having greater correlation with improved participant/plan outcomes—e.g., plans with immediate vesting received slightly higher scores than plans with three-year vesting schedules. Plans needed to achieve a total score of more than 90 points, on a 100-point scale to receive the Best in Class designation. This year, 34 plans joined our prior winners to be honored as Best in Class.

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