Government DC Plans Have Similarities to Private-Sector DC Plans

Most government DC plans (85%) use target-date funds, and 69% offer financial wellness services.

Total assets in government defined contribution (DC) plans were $115.8 billion as of December 31, 2015, according to the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators’ (NAGDCA’s) inaugural benchmarking report

Of the 62 government DC plan sponsors surveyed, 64% reported having a 457(b) plan, 18% offered a 401(a) plan, 15% offered a 401(k) and 3% offered a 403(b). Just more than half (53%) of the participating plans were multi-employer, as opposed to single employer, and more than three-quarters (77%) said their DC plans were supplemental savings vehicles for employees as opposed to the primary savings vehicle.

One-quarter of responding plans use automatic enrollment. Among those that did not, one-third indicated it was prohibited by law. Of those that offered auto-enrollment, target-date funds were the most common default investments.

Eighty-five percent of the responding plans had target-date funds, and 22% used automatic deferral escalation.

Nearly two-thirds of the responding plans had a brokerage window, but only 0.3% of the respondents use it, and 66% of plans use managed accounts. Fifty-six percent of the responding plans offered loans.

Eighty-three percent of government DC plan sponsors offer retirement planning services, while 69% offer financial wellness services. Sixty-one percent reported offering investment advice online, 54% offered investment advice via telephone, and 43% offered in-person investment advice.

The report provides data regarding plan types, plan demographics, plan design and features, services, investments, governance, and fees. It also includes participant demographics such as account balances displayed by age and gender. A copy of the report may be accessed or purchased here.