SOURCE: BrightScope


September 06, 2013 09:00 ET

BrightScope Ranks Top Industries With the Best 401k Plans

Law Tops the List While Blue Collar Industries Such as Manufacturing and Automotive Beat Out Health & Medicine

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 6, 2013) - BrightScope (, a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research, today announced the list of industries ranked by average 401k plan rating for those containing more than $100 million in assets. This is the culmination of a series where BrightScope highlighted the strongest plans within leading industries across the nation.

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 range of industries topping this list shows that employers of all types are taking necessary steps to set up employees for a secure retirement by providing a robust 401k plan," said Brooks Herman, Head of Data and Research for BrightScope. "We hope companies across the country are now inspired to evaluate the options available to workers and make positive changes that have the potential to make a huge impact to employees' financial future over time."

More information on specific industries, such as average account balance, participation rate, company generosity and salary deferral can be found, when available, by clicking though the hyperlinks in the list below.

Top industries with the highest ranked 401k plans containing more than $100 million in assets:

Industry - Number of Plans Evaluated - BrightScope Rating

1. Law - 179 plans - 82.75

2. Utilities - 114 plans - 77.32

3. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction - 61 plans - 77.10

4. Technology - 205 plans - 75.33

5. Airlines - 55 plans - 74.65

6. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services - 191 plans - 74.33

7. Business and Finance - 416 plans - 73.58

8. Manufacturing - 1015 plans - 72.54

9. Automotive - 27 plans - 69.93

10. Wholesale Trade - 143 plans - 69.26

11. Information - 73 plans - 69.17

12. Management of Companies and Enterprises - 125 plans - 68.51

13. Arts & Entertainment - 22 plans - 67.68

14. Health & Medicine - 238 plans - 66.98

15. Other Services - 43 plans - 66.20

16. Transportation and Warehousing - 74 plans - 65.78

17. Construction - 169 plans - 65.72

18. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing - 33 plans - 65.66

19. Education - 30 plans - 65.64

20. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services - 46 plans - 63.83

21. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting - 11 plans - 57.50

22. Retail Trade - 164 plans - 57.06

23. Hotels, Casinos, and Food Services - 35 plans - 54.38

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 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 nearly 50,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on nearly 600,000 financial advisors and nearly 40,000 advisory firms are available for free at

Contact Information

  • Jessica Kipp
    Atomic PR for BrightScope
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