Eighty Percent of Professional Service Firms Offer DB Plans

December 2, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Eighty percent of professional service firms offer their employees a defined benefit (DB) plan, with the average contribution rate from companies with over 1,000 employees sitting at $40 million in 2003.

These are the results of a survey by Diversified Investment Advisors, a national advisory company that specializes in retirement plans. The survey also revealed that in the professional services industry, 40% of firms have 7.5 or more full-time human resource professionals dedicated to DB plan management. In addition, 35% of plans dedicated more than 7.5 in-house legal and financial professionals to the plan management. Professional services rely more than other industries on internal staff to administer plans, according to the survey, but also rely more on actuarial firms to calculate projected and actual retirement benefits.

Defined contribution (DC) plans are also common in the professional services universe, according to the survey, with the average contribution from these firms reaching $18 million in 2003. Professional services firms are more likely than other industries to devote 7.5 or more full-time HR employees to administering such plans as well.

The survey, the Diversified Investment Advisors’ Report on Retirement Plans, polled 122 publicly traded and 84 privately owned firms with at least 1,000 employees. Of the companies polled, 192 offered DC plans, while 132 offered DB plans to non-union employees.