The answer to your question depends on whether you are just an individual looking for information or if you are a financial professional. 401(k) tax filings referred to as Form 5500 are available to the general public at www.efast.dol.gov however you will need to know the name of the plan or the employer. The Form 5500 does not provide investment performance information If you are trying to obtain information for prospecting purposes there are a number of searchable databases that you could subscribe to, for a fee, such as Larkspur Data Resources, Judy Diamond , Brightscope, etc. in order to refine your search using specific criteria. Hope this is helpful.
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Smart thinking! You can do what you are asking because the information you need to search through to get what you want is all public information. And as such, unless you want to build your own data base of info that you get from the government and then setup a filter so that just the info you want drops out to give you the info you need, then I suggest that you loo for the website of "Free ERISA, or "Judy Diamond" or even call Brightscope and see if they can give you the info you need.
Now with respect to getting performance numbers easily, you would have to take information from the information you get and use the raw numbers you get on a plan basis to calculate performance for the plan. However, if you are able to find out the specific funds that these 401(k) plans are using, then you would have to look up the performance numbers on the internet by finding that info from the fund families website. Unfortunately, if you wanted to calculate the participants actual returns for the funds they are in, you would have to know the annual history of each months contribution deposit into each fund and then calculate the participants performance based on their own investment history with the funds.
Remember, just because a fund shows published great performance, that doesn't mean that the participants that invested in such fund actually experienced the same performance. Some of the readers of this may remember a great statistic about the Fidelity Fund called "Magellan." It was touted as the biggest and best performing fund of all funds for many years, at one time. However, there were many quoted writers that stated that in spite of the fact that the fund as a whole had done so well, more than 50% of the individual investors actually lost money by investing in "Magellan." I guess the simplest explanation I can give you , if you are scratching your head wondering "How is that possible?" is this:
Hi Michael! I'm not aware of a search mechanism for the mass public based on your criteria, but BrightScope offers professional search capabilities for planners. If you are interested, you can contact their product group.
There are some free services, like BrightScope and free ERISA, which have a lot of the information you seek. Performance is another, more complicated matter. That would require looking at the fund holdings and model portfolios, if any. Beware of anyone talking about performance of a 401(k) plan if they can not provide you with all of the detailed information.