Average Participant Balance Fell by 15% in 2000

June 26, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Victims of a brutal market downturn, the average participant balance fell by nearly 15% last year to $34,021, despite the steady inflow of contributions, according to PLANSPONSOR's Annual Recordkeeping Survey.

A year ago, the average participant balance stood on the brink of the $40,000 threshold.

Despite the drop, overall assets administered by participant recordkeepers managed to eke out a 1.4% gain to $2.16 trillion, as additional plans and participants came online.  Still, that tepid pace stood in sharp contrast to the prior year’s 27.5% rate of growth. 

Furthermore, the average assets per recordkeeper slipped 4.3% as smaller plans – and smaller players – entered the arena.

The continued emergence of small plans is evidenced by the fact that while the number of plans covered by the survey increased by more than 100,000, while an additional 10 million participants were captured in the survey results.  In fact, the average plans per recordkeeper rose nearly 40% (38.3%), while the average participants per recordkeeper rose just 13.3%. 

Coming On Strong

Fidelity continued to top the list of participants in the survey, with nearly 8.75 million, up significantly from last year’s 7.6 million mark.  But Citistreet came on strong in 2000, sailing past last year’s runner-up Hewitt.  Citistreet reported 4.8 million participants on the books, a sharp rise from the 4.2 million reported in 1999.  Hewitt hung on to third place, despite slipping to 4.3 million participants from 4.5 million the previous year.

MetLife and Vanguard retained the #3 and #4 positions, respectively.

Principal Advantage

As for sheer number of clients, no one can touch the Principal Group, which retained the top spot with 48,458 clients.  However, ING Aetna is making a good run at it, with 41,079 plans administered, up from roughly 30,000 a year ago. 

Another up-and-comer was Nationwide, vaulting into third place with nearly 26,000 plans up from the 11,000 reported in last year’s survey.  That sent it past Fidelity, last year’s #3, and Scudder, last year’s fourth place, with 22,836 and 18,474 plans, respectively.

This year’s survey covered the results of 378,081 plans and nearly 63 million participants administered by the nation’s top 75 recordkeepers.

– Nevin Adams           editors@plansponsor.com

See the entire survey at:

America’s Top Recordkeepers 2001 – Our Exclusive Survey

Survey Recordkeeping Statistics

FUTURE TENSE:  Last Year’s Results Summarized

Tomorrow:  The Impact on Participants