PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution Survey

Each year our sister publication PLANSPONSOR releases a much-anticipated update to its Defined Contribution Survey, acknowledged as one of the leading retirement planning industry snapshots.

The 2015 Defined Contribution Survey from PLANSPONSOR measures and evaluates satisfaction levels with 401(k) and other DC providers, according to feedback from their plan sponsor clients across 23 distinct areas of participant and sponsor services.

Once again the data shows recordkeeping remains a low-margin business, subject to serious fee compression and ripe for consolidation. Platform differentiators between providers are becoming less distinct, sponsors say, making it tougher to identify which providers would make the best fit for a particular plan.

How did your preferred service provider partners fare in the rankings? Use our interactive data parsing tools to find out. Survey results are presented from an overall, industry-wide perspective, including general satisfaction levels with the various services of DC providers. Our interactive tools also break out the top providers and allow users to filter results for a specific firm, or according to the Best in Class rankings.

One key point to consider as you view the data: This year, not one of the participant or sponsor service categories saw increased satisfaction scores, reversing a two-year trend. In fact, a few categories showed significant declines in “top box” satisfaction—“Enrollment assistance” is down 19.6% from its 2014 score; “Loan/Withdrawal processing” fell 13.6%; and “Participant fee disclosure” dropped 10.2%, while “Form 5500 processing” is down 14%, and “Legislative/Regulatory updates” slipped 10.9%.

We hope you can find some actionable insights in the data, and encourage you to share the results with teammates and colleagues.