Schwab Makes Plan Benchmarking Data Available to TPAs

Charles Schwab is now making available industry insights and benchmarking data compiled from retirement plan clients to third-party administrator (TPA) clients.

According to a press release, the information gives Schwab’s TPA clients the ability to evaluate how the individual retirement plans they serve compare with retirement plans of the same size and industry segment in terms of participation rates, adoption of products and plan features, and a number of other metrics. Similar to Schwab’s plan sponsor clients, participating TPAs will receive detailed reports on each of their own plans, in addition to broader reports reflecting all Schwab plans broken out by plan size, 18 industry segments, and aggregate data from all Schwab plan clients combined.

Schwab’s benchmarking data, including participating plan sponsor and TPA clients, represents two million plan participants and 2,400 plans. Newly added, TPA-specific benchmarking data represents more than 406,000 plan participants and more than 900 plans.

“Extending our benchmarking program to include plans serviced by TPAs will also be beneficial to plan sponsors who work directly with Schwab, because it gives them a more comprehensive set of information to which they can compare their own plan,’ said Schwab Corporate & Retirement Services Director Andrew Gorder, in the press release.

Benchmarking Insights

Some insights from Schwab’s TPA-specific 2008 benchmarking report include:

  • Plans with fewer participants are more likely to offer features that provide flexibility and personalization such as self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBA). According to Schwab data, 26% of plans serviced by Schwab TPA clients with less than 100 participants offer an SDBA.
  • Plans with more participants are more likely to offer target-date retirement funds. According to Schwab data, 23% of plans serviced by Schwab TPA clients with more than 2,500 participants offer target-date retirement funds, compared with 7% of plans with less than 100 participants.
  • The Schwab data also indicate that TPA-serviced plans with more participants are more likely to provide an employer matching contribution, as opposed to plans with fewer participants that tend to offer profit-sharing agreements for employees.

According to the Schwab press release, the TPA data now included in Schwab’s overall retirement plan benchmarking information is composed of 10 of Schwab’s largest TPA clients including Conrad Siegel Actuaries, Interactive Retirement Systems, Kibble & Prentice, Milliman Inc., Northwest Plan Services Inc., REDW Benefits LLC, Retirement Direct LLC, Retirement Plan Services LLC, Spectrum Pension Consultants Inc., and Trautmann, Maher & Associates.

More information is available at