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PLANSPONSOR Research Year In Review.


Pnt plan decisionmaking begins when sponsors and fiduciaries have the right information. For this reason, nearly all issues of PLANSPONSOR include a proprietary research report or a buyer’s guide to give plan sponsors up-to-date information about plan features, providers, products and services. The research includes data from providers, but also from thousands of plan sponsors and hundreds of participantsoffering insight to our readers for how they might better their plan offerings and plan design.

The PLANSPONSOR Defined Benefit (DB) Administration Survey (page 48) results indicate that the use of defined benefit plans is up substantially--by 22%. Considering the health of the pension risk transfer market and the oft-reported decline of pension plans as a whole, one may wonder where the growth originates. But, according to The Segal Group, one-quarter of the Fortune 500 companies still offer pension plans to new employees, and nearly all of them are hybrid plans or cash balance plans--both being types of defined benefit plans. In this issue, we have highlighted statistics from the overall marketplace, as well as the top five defined benefit administrators in various segments.

The PLANSPONSOR Recordkeeping Survey (page 50)--our 19th--profiles 55 leading providers of defined contribution (DC) recordkeeping services. These companies account for more than $6 trillion in assets and are estimated to represent approximately 85% of the total DC market. Collectively, results from the survey demonstrate the market’s evolution and point up some factors to consider when selecting a recordkeeper partner. Online is a detailed listing of each participating recordkeeper’s profile; in this roundup is a view of the $6 billion marketplace, examining how plan sizes and types fit into the overall landscape.

The data submitted for the PLANSPONSOR Target-Date Fund (TDF) Buyer’s Guide (page 52) reinforces the prominence such funds have attained in the retirement plan industry, adding a range of new solutions across mutual funds and collective trusts and gathering significant assets and inflows. As the options increase, investment managers continue to evolve their products’ construction, and the guide gives plan sponsors points of comparison. The proliferation of options is evident in the investment product suite listings provided online--the summary here is a quick view of fund performance and provider asset size.

The PLANSPONSOR 403(b)/457 Buyer’s Guide (page 53) identifies providers of 403(b) and 457 plan administration services. With over $1 trillion in assets, these plans play a critical role in how more than 20 million employees of nonprofit and governmental organizations save for retirement. This year, we highlight not only the overall marketplace sizing but the top five recordkeeping providers of such plans.

For more information on survey results or how to be included in a future edition of a survey or buyer’s guide, email Brian O’Keefe at

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Date:Dec 1, 2017
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