SOURCE: BrightScope


December 17, 2014 08:00 ET

BrightScope Announces Its Sixth Annual Top 30 401k Plans List

NFL Player Second Career Savings Plan Scores Top Spot for Second Year in a Row; BrightScope Welcomes Plans From General Re, UPS, Latham & Watkins and S.C. Johnson & Son

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 17, 2014) - BrightScope (, a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research, is proud to announce the sixth BrightScope year-end ranking of the Top 30 401k Plans List to recognize companies with the best 401k plans containing more than $1 billion in assets.

"We've seen average account balances, deferrals and participation rates steadily increase year-over year and that continues with this sixth annual ranking of top 401k plans," said Mike Alfred, CEO & co-founder of BrightScope. "It's encouraging to see the average plan rating also continue to improve, demonstrating employers recognize the importance a high quality 401k plan plays in helping employees retire with dignity."

Key Statistics of BrightScope's 2014 Top 30 List:

  • Target Date Fund growth continues: TDFs represent 5.5 percent of assets, up from 4.9 percent from last year's Top 30 List
  • Index Funds march on: they account for 35 percent of assets, a 2 percent increase from the Top 30 List of 2013
  • Participation rates climb to almost 97 percent, up nearly 1 percent since last year's Top 30 List
  • Salary deferrals per participant average over $13,600, growing from just over $12,500 since last year's Top 30 List
  • Average account balances represented have increased nearly $50,000 since the Top 30 List of 2013
  • Employers on this year's list are easing the total plan cost burden, with the average dropping by 2 basis points to 0.26 percent since last year's Top 30 List

Noteworthy findings since BrightScope's last release of this list in December 2013:

The entire list of the 2014 Top 30 401k Plans with more than $1 billion in assets:

2014 Rank   2013 Rank   Plan Name   U.S. Headquarters   BrightScope Rating™
1   1   NFL Player Second Career Savings Plan   Baltimore, MD   91.25
2   3   Southwest Airlines Pilots Retirement Savings Plan   Dallas, TX   90.85
3   2   The Savings Plan of Saudi Arabian Oil Company   Houston, TX   90.60
4   4   Wellington Retirement and Pension Plan   Boston, MA   90.56
5   N/A   Employee Savings & Stock Ownership Plan Of General Re Corp.   Stamford, CT   89.65
6   6   Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan   Thousand Oaks, CA   88.96
7   N/A   UPS/IPA Defined Contribution Money Purchase Pension Plan   Louisville, KY   88.92
8   N/A   ConocoPhillips Savings Plan   Houston, TX   88.45
9   11   Bayer Corporation Savings and Retirement Plan   Pittsburgh, PA   88.29
10   13   ExxonMobil Savings Plan   Houston, TX   88.21
11   17   BP Employee Savings Plan   Houston, TX   88.0
12   12   Google Inc. 401(K) Savings Plan   Mountain View, CA   87.87
13   9   Southern California Permanente Medical Group Retirement Plan   Pasadena, CA   87.77
14   N/A   Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. 401(K) Savings & Investment Plan   Charlotte, NC   87.71
15   N/A   Phillips 66 Savings Plan   Houston, TX   87.57
16   21   Bechtel Trust & Thrift Plan   San Francisco, CA   87.34
17   N/A   Latham & Watkins 401(k) Savings and Profit Sharing Plan   Los Angeles, CA   87.24
18   24   Marathon Oil Company Thrift Plan   Houston, TX   87.19
19   N/A   Verizon Savings Plan for Management Employees   Basking Ridge, NJ   87.07
20   27   GlaxoSmithKline Retirement Savings Plan   Philadelphia, PA   86.80
21   22   Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp Thrift/401(k) Savings Plan   Mclean, VA   86.76
22   18   Astrazeneca Savings and Security Plan   Wilmington, DE   86.72
23   N/A   S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Employees Deferred Profit Sharing and Savings Plan   Racine, WI   86.69
24   16   IBM 401(k) Plus Plan   Armonk, NY   86.62
25   N/A   Alcatel-Lucent Savings Plan   Murray Hill, NJ   86.60
26   23   Shell Provident Fund   Houston, TX   86.56
27   N/A   Federal National Mortgage Association Retirement Savings Plan for Employees   Washington, DC   86.53
28   10   Anadarko Employee Savings Plan   The Woodlands, TX   86.50
29   N/A   Federal Express Corporation Pilots Retirement Savings Plan   Memphis, TN   86.49
30   7   Novartis Corporation Investment Savings Plan   New York, NY   86.39

BrightScope obtains an increasing amount of its data directly from plan sponsors and record keepers, 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.

BrightScope has rated nearly 50,000 401k and 403b plans, spanning more than 57 million workers and over $3 trillion in assets. 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. 

About BrightScope
BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to opaque markets through independent research and analysis. Delivered through cloud-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 nearly 50,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on more than 680,000 financial advisors and nearly 33,000 active advisory firms are available for free at