SOURCE: BrightScope


March 22, 2011 00:01 ET

BrightScope Rating™ Expands to Include 403b Plans for the Education, Non-Profit and Hospital Sectors; Announces the Top 25 403b Plans Greater Than $100M

BrightScope Now Evaluates 403b Plan Performance to Inform Plan Sponsors and Participants and Empower Positive Change

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2011) - BrightScope (, the leading provider of independent retirement plan ratings and investment research, today announced it has incorporated 403b plan data into the BrightScope Rating system and released the Top 25 403b Plans with more than $100 million in assets. Developed in partnership with the country's top independent fiduciaries, finance professors and 401k experts, the BrightScope Rating analyzes more than 200 unique data points per plan -- such as company generosity, fees and investment menu -- to provide a single numerical score indicative of plan quality. BrightScope provides open access to plan ratings on its website, allowing visitors to compare plans, find areas for improvement and ways to initiate positive change with plan sponsors.

"The addition of 403b plan ratings is another step forward on BrightScope's mission to increase the retirement security of America's workforce by bringing transparency and efficiency to the retirement plan market," said BrightScope CEO, Mike Alfred. "The highly rated 403b plans that appear on the inaugural list represent some of the best plans in the country -- as measured in terms of size, number of participants and employee demographics -- and should serve as an example of excellence that all plan sponsors should strive for on behalf of participants."

The BrightScope Ratings algorithm runs thousands of simulations for each 403b plan in order to determine how quickly each plan will propel the average participant to retirement. Using this rigorous approach, BrightScope ensures that every factor that affects potential retirement outcomes is accurately reflected in a company's rating.

The entire list of the Top 25 403b Plans with more than $100 million in assets:

Plan Rank -- Plan Sponsor Name -- Plan Name -- BrightScope Rating™
1. The MITRE Corporation -- MITRE Corporation Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan -- 86
2. Noblis, Inc. -- Noblis, Inc. Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan -- 85
3. The Urban Institute -- The Urban Institute Retirement Plan -- 84
4. Cornell University -- Retirement Plan For Faculty And Exempt Employees Of Weill Cornell Medical College 403b Plan -- 82
5. Trustees of Boston University -- Boston University Retirement Plan -- 82
6. SRI International -- SRI International Retirement Savings Plan -- 82
7. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research -- UCAR Retirement Plan -- 82
8. University of Notre Dame du Lac -- University of Notre Dame Defined Contribution Retirement Plan for Faculty and Administrators -- 81
9. Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Inc. -- Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Inc. Retirement Plan -- 80
10. The Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc. -- The Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc. Retirement Plan -- 80
11. Stanford Hospital and Clinics -- Stanford Hospital and Clinics Retirement Plan -- 80
12. Pepperdine University -- Pepperdine University Retirement Plan -- 80
13. National Public Radio -- National Public Radio, Inc. Retirement Plan -- 80
14. Georgetown University -- Georgetown University Defined Contribution Retirement Plan -- 79
15. Hamilton College -- Hamilton College 403b Retirement Plan -- 79
16. Northeastern University -- Northeastern University Basic Retirement Plan -- 79
17. Corporation of Gonzaga University -- Gonzaga University 403b Retirement Plan -- 79
18. Cornell University -- Weill Cornell Medical College Tax Deferred Annuity Plan 403b Plan -- 79
19. Duke University -- Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan -- 79
20. Iona College -- Iona College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan -- 79
21. University Physician Associates -- University Physician Associates 403b Retirement Plan -- 78
22. Fordham University -- Fordham University Faculty and Administrative Retirement Plan -- 78
23. President & Fellows of Harvard College -- Retirement Income Plan for Teaching Faculty of Harvard University 1973 -- 78
24. St. Lawrence University -- St. Lawrence University Faculty 403(b) Retirement Plan -- 78
25. Bentley University -- Bentley University Retirement Plan -- 78

Human Resource professionals, Chief Financial Officers, brokers and employees of educational institutions and non-profit organizations can visit to review their company's 403b plan and determine its relative quality compared to a unique peer group with similar demographic characteristics. Peer groups are sets of 403b plans of roughly the same size and industry that are used to compare the features of those plans to ensure similar criteria are applied to each plan.

BrightScope has rated more than 55,500 401k and 403b plans spanning nearly 35 million workers and over $2 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 millions of employees who depend on these plans for retirement. 

BrightScope obtains an increasing amount of its data directly from plan sponsors and record keepers, and augments these primary sources with information 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.

For more information about BrightScope, go to

About BrightScope

BrightScope is committed to helping America's workforce retire in dignity. BrightScope is an independent data analytics firm that quantitatively rates 401k and 403b plans and provides employees, employers, asset managers, and advisors with tools to enhance plan performance. 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 401k or 403b plan quality at the company level. BrightScope also publishes distribution rankings for funds in the retirement marketplace, giving asset managers better visibility into how they stack up to others. BrightScope-published ratings, rating definitions, criteria and methodologies are available on the company's public site,

Contact Information

  • Katie Carlson
    Atomic PR for BrightScope
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