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APR 11, 2018
Asset managers are the second most prevalent type of record keeper, with roughly a 31% market share, according to the ICI-BrightScope data. Since they are more concentrated in the large market, though, they control the most assets of any type of record keeper, at 54%.
MAR 12, 2018
How do you know how your plan rates? You need to run some comparisons. BrightScope, the plan rating service, evaluates plans every year for performance and features. Their most recent survey of plans highlights the best features that allow employees to save as much as possible.
MAR 12, 2018
Large plans have ramped up their target-date fund (TDF) offerings and most plans are automatically enrolling participants, offering employer contributions and making loans available, according to the report, created by BrightScope, a Strategic Insight company, and the Investment Company Institute (ICI). The report is based on an analysis of the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) publication of Form 5500 data.
MAR 12, 2018
Employers are using a range of plan features and “a diverse mix of investment options” to encourage retirement saving among their employees, according to new research from BrightScope and the Investment Company Institute. Their study shows that large plans have ramped up target date fund offerings in their investment lineups, and that most plans are offering employer contributions and loan features. Using 5500 data and BrightScope’s Defined Contribution Plan Database, it finds that plans also are increasingly using auto-enrollment to boost participation.
MAR 5, 2018
Delta, American, United and Southwest airlines swept the top four spots on a new ranking of the Top 30 401(k) Plans by BrightScope. The list considered plans with more than $1 billion in assets and ranked them on generosity of company contributions, vesting schedules, fees and participation rates.
FEB 28, 2018
Major airlines again flew away with the best scores for the top 30 401k plans in America. The annual list, compiled by BrightScope, saw the NFL Player Second Career Savings Plan sacked for a loss, moving from No. 2 last year to No. 5 this year.
JAN 18, 2018
“Companies realize they want to have a workforce that’s prepared for retirement so people will leave their jobs and allow younger people to come up through the ranks,” said Brooks Herman, head of data and research at BrightScope. As a rising share of employers adopt automatic enrollment—which puts workers into 401(k) plans and lets them opt out rather than requiring them to sign up on their own—more people are participating in retirement plans, driving up the amount employers are spending on matching contributions, he added.
JAN 17, 2018
Brooks Herman, VP of Data and Research in Strategic Insight’s San Diego office, attributes the rise in employer contributions to several factors: automatic enrollment (and auto escalation, to a lesser degree) becoming more and more prevalent, the country pulling out of the Great Recession giving participants the financial comfort needed to defer savings for retirement, and better education from plan sponsors and advisers to plan participants about the power of tax-deferred savings.
JAN 16, 2018
Brooks Herman, VP of Data and Research in Strategic Insight’s San Diego office, attributes the rise in employer contributions to several factors: automatic enrollment (and auto escalation, to a lesser degree) becoming more and more prevalent, the country pulling out of the Great Recession giving participants the financial comfort needed to defer savings for retirement, and better education from plan sponsors and advisers to plan participants about the power of tax-deferred savings.
JAN 16, 2018
There is a certain section of plans that have yet to get their employer matches back to where they were prior to the financial crisis. Data from a recent BrightScope/ICI study show that in 2006 78 percent of all plans offered an employer match, and as of 2014, that was back up to 77 percent.
JAN 12, 2018
Vanguard may have a growing problem in its corporate 401(k) business. The firm recently lost Chevron's giant $19 billion account to Fidelity, which still dominates the retirement plan administration business. Mike Alfred, CEO of BrightScope Inc., a financial information company that rates retirement plans, said the switch was isolated and that Vanguard's fees, which Chevron's employees complained were too high, are still among the lowest in the industry.
JAN 1, 2018
The financial services industry, which has reaped a windfall from the growth of 401(k) plans, says many of those problems have been solved. Average expenses fell from 1.02% of 401(k) assets in 2009 to 0.97% in 2014, according to a 2016 study by the Investment Company Institute and Brightscope, which rates 401(k) plans.
DEC 13, 2017
Fee disclosure regulations from the Labor Department, along with high-profile lawsuits against employers with too-costly retirement plans, have helped push down expenses for retirement plans overall. However, small businesses generally don't have the same bargaining power as employers with large retirement plans. In 2014, plans with less than $10 million in assets cost 1.02 percent, while plans with over $1 billion in assets cost 0.30 percent, according to the ICI and BrightScope.
DEC 6, 2017
Recordkeepers like Fidelity have jumped into the 401(k) advice fray because of Financial Engines' wins, says Mike Alfred, co-founder of BrightScope Inc., which analyzes and rates 401(k) plans in La Jolla, Calif.
NOV 21, 2017
In both cases, courts found the lawsuits to have no merit thereby getting Chevron -- and hence Vanguard -- off the hook. Yet Chevron may not have absolved Vanguard of wrongdoing as the pain involved with being sued by staff lingers on. And perhaps Chevron management reasoned that Fidelity is better equipped to do that sort of crisis management, according to Mike Alfred, CEO of BrightScope Inc., which analyzes and rates 401(k) plans from La Jolla, Calif.
OCT 1, 2017
It is becoming increasingly clear that the debt participants carry, often for higher education, keeps them from saving for retirement. “Laden With Student Debt” reveals that many financial wellness programs now pinpoint this problem, and providers are creating tools to help participants unload the burden. We also are debuting a new department in this issue, “Plan Focus,” which will highlight Strategic Insight research on retirement plans performed by our sister company BrightScope. The initial column focuses on employer contributions.
SEP 30, 2017
Employer dollars as a percentage of employee defined contribution (DC) retirement plan savings increased from 2009 through 2014, then slightly dipped in 2015, according to data from BrightScope—like PLANADVISER, a Strategic Insight company.
SEP 23, 2017
This is partly due to a push toward greater use and prevalence of index funds, as opposed to actively managed funds, which are generally more expensive. Participant assets held in index funds climbed to 29%, from 17%, between 2006 and 2014, according to the BrightScope-ICI study.
SEP 18, 2017
Less than 1% of 401(k) plans offers an SRI fund, according to Brooks Herman, vice president of data and research at BrightScope, which tracks 401(k) plans.
SEP 18, 2017
Additional research from BrightScope supports the overall downward trend in 401(k) fees. Data released in 2016 showed that in 2014, the average participant was in a plan with a total expense ratio of 0.55%. At the best and worst ends of the scale, 10% of plans had a total cost of 0.47% or less, while 10% had a total plan cost of 1.50% or more. The research also showed that the gap in cost tends to decrease as plan size increases. In other words, the more assets held in the plan, the less investors pay in fees.