Data and Research

403(b)s Simplifying Investment Menus

Non-profit organizations that sponsor 403(b) plans are simplifying investment platforms by streamlining the options available for participants.

By Rebecca Moore | June 03, 2014
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403(b) plan sponsors offered an average of 26 investment options in 2013, down from 31 in 2012; edging closer to the average of 19 investment options in 401(k) plans, according to the 2014 Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) 403(b) Plan Survey. The survey found 403(b)s with the highest average participation rate (72.2%) are those with between 15 and 20 investment options.  

More plans are offering target-date investment options as part of a slimmer overall investment platform. Three quarters of 403(b) plans now offer target-date investment options, a steady increase since 2009 when they were included in just more than half of plans (51.2%).  

The sixth annual survey also found, more than half (51.3%) of 403(b) plan sponsors retained independent investment advisers to assist with fiduciary responsibility, compared to 46% in 2012. Also, 51% of organizations reported they have an investment policy statement. Investments are most often monitored annually (44.5% of plans).