SOURCE: BrightScope


December 11, 2012 00:00 ET

BrightScope Announces Its Fourth Annual Year-End Top 30 401k Plans List

Newcomer Marathon Oil Company Takes This Year's Top Spot, Bumping Last Year's Leader Southwest Airlines to No. 3

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 11, 2012) - BrightScope (, the leading provider of independent retirement plan ratings and investment research, is proud to announce the fourth annual BrightScope Year‐End Top 30 Ratings List covering 401k plans with more than $1 billion in assets. BrightScope obtains an increasing amount of its data directly from plan sponsors and recordkeepers, and augments these primary sources with data from publicly available sources such as the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission. By analyzing and interpreting this data, BrightScope provides unprecedented transparency into the 401k industry.

The BrightScope Rating was developed by BrightScope, Inc. with the help of leading academics and independent 401k fiduciaries. By analyzing more than 200 individual data points, the BrightScope Rating algorithm calculates a single numerical value for each 401k plan. The data points examined cover broad categories such as total plan cost, company generosity and investment menu quality.

"This is our fourth year compiling the Year-End Top 30 Ratings list, and yet again we are seeing companies offering outstanding plans," said Mike Alfred, CEO and co-founder of BrightScope. "It is clear that plan sponsors are effectively using quantitative tools like the BrightScope Rating to meaningfully improve their plans. Better plans lead to better outcomes for each and every participant who depends on their plan for a dignified retirement."

Key Statistics of BrightScope's 2012 Top 30 List:

  • Target Date Funds make inroads: the average Top 30 Plan in 2012 has 4.9% of its assets in a Target Date Fund compared to 3.6% on the 2011 list.
  • Index Funds growth continues: index funds account for 29.5% of assets in the Top 30 Plans of 2012, compared to 25.4% on the 2011 list.
  • Brokerage windows becoming more popular: they represent 3.8% of 401k assets in the 2012 List versus 2.8% on the 2011 list.
  • Collective Trusts are becoming more commonplace: 28.7% of the assets of the Top 30 Plans of 2012 were in Collective Trusts relative to 24.0% on the 2011 list.
  • Plans within the 2012 Top 30 list average over $12,700 in salary deferrals per participant, up from $11,600 on the 2011 list.

Noteworthy findings in the 2012 Year-End Top 30 401k Plans List include:

The entire list of the 2012 Top 30 401k Plans with more than $1 billion in assets:

2012 Rank   2011 Rank   Plan Name   U.S. Headquarters   BrightScope Rating™
1   N/A   Marathon Oil Company Thrift Plan   Houston, TX   91.65
2   2   The Savings Plan of Saudi Arabian Oil Company   Houston, TX   90.87
3   1   Southwest Airlines Pilots' Retirement Savings Plan   Dallas, TX   90.82
4   3   Wellington Retirement and Pension Plan   Boston, MA   90.20
5   6   Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan   Thousand Oaks, CA   89.65
6   5   United Airlines Pilot Directed Account Plan   Chicago, IL   89.17
7   7   Employees Savings and Retirement Plan of Credit Suisse   New York, NY   88.31
8   14   Sanofi-Aventis US Savings Plan   Bridgewater, NJ   87.66
9   9   Southern California Permanente Medical Group Retirement Plan   Pasadena, CA   87.64
10   11   Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Savings and Investment Program   New York, NY   87.01
11   19   Google Inc. 401k Savings Plan   Mountain View, CA   86.99
12   12   ExxonMobil Savings Plan   Houston, TX   86.88
13   10   Bayer Corporation Savings and Retirement Plan   Pittsburgh, PA   86.82
14   22   IBM 401k Plus Plan   Armonk, NY   86.71
15   20   Genentech, Inc. Tax Reduction Investment Plan   South San Francisco, CA   86.71
16   13   Chevron Employee Savings Investment Plan   San Ramon, CA   86.65
17   15   BASF Corporation Retirement Savings Plan   Florham Park, NJ   86.58
18   N/A   The Roche Savings and Pay Deferral Plan   Nutley, NJ   86.58
19   17   Ernst & Young Partnership Retirement Plan   Secaucus, NJ   86.55
20   18   Anadarko Employee Savings Plan   The Woodlands, TX   86.47
21   N/A   Cisco Systems, Inc. 401(k) Plan   San Jose, CA   86.35
22   23   BP Employee Savings Plan   Houston, TX   86.26
23   24   Shell Provident Fund   Houston, TX   86.06
24   27   UBS Savings and Investment Plan   New York, NY   85.85
25   N/A   Altria Client Services, Inc. Deferred Profit-Sharing Plan for Salaried Employees   Richmond, VA   85.81
26   21   ConocoPhillips Savings Plan   Bartlesville, OK   85.79
27   29   Goldman Sachs 401k Plan   New York, NY   85.71
28   16   Bechtel Trust & Thrift Plan   San Francisco, CA   85.70
29   26   GlaxoSmithKline Retirement Savings Plan   Philadelphia, PA   85.62
30   4   Deloitte Profit Sharing Plan   New York, NY   85.60

The company has rated more than 46,000 retirement plans, spanning 30 million workers and $2 trillion in assets, and provided information on more than 770,000 financial advisors. Industry adoption of the BrightScope Rating will lead to more cost-effective plans, increased participation rates, higher employee satisfaction and better outcomes for the 60 million employees who depend on their 401k plan for retirement.

For more information please visit

About BrightScope

BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to opaque markets through independent research and analysis. Delivered through web-based software, BrightScope data drives better decision-making for individual investors, corporate plan sponsors, asset managers, broker-dealers, and financial advisors. The BrightScope Rating™, developed in partnership with leading independent 401k fiduciaries, reviews more than 200 unique data inputs per plan and calculates a single numerical score which defines plan quality at the company level. In April 2011, the company launched BrightScope Advisor Pages™, the first comprehensive and publicly available directory of financial advisors designed to help consumers discover information and conduct due diligence on wealth management professionals. BrightScope also markets a suite of data analytics software products to Fortune 1000 companies, asset managers, broker-dealers, financial advisors, and other market participants. Public ratings for more than 46,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on more than 770,000 financial advisors and nearly 45,000 advisory firms are available for free at

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