Defined Benefit Administration Survey

The 25 providers that responded to our 2018 Defined Benefit (DB) Administration Survey collectively account for more than 27 million DB participants.


Like our Recordkeeping Survey on the defined contribution side of the market, the DB Administration Survey showcases providers in the DB market—who the major players are, who they serve, what services they provide. Also included is information on overall market sizing.

DB Administration Industry Snapshot

DB Industry Snapshot
Total DB administration clients6,536*
Total DB plans12,606*
Total DB participants29,703,778*
Estimated DB assets$2,122b*
DB Client Relationships by Service Model
Single-plan DB clients 34%*
Multiple-plan DB clients 13%*
DB and DC clients 36%*
Other DB-bundles 17%*
DB Plans By Type
Corporate: single-employer10,684*
Corporate: multiemployer164*
Nonprofit/Church/Social service310*
DB Plans By Size
<100 participants 6,328*
100 – 1,000 participants 2,487*
>1,000 – 5,000 participants 1,620*
>5,000 – 25,000 participants 1,222*
>25,000 participants 446*
DB Plans By Status
Active/Open plans 2,949*
Closed plans974*
Partially frozen642*
Soft frozen 274*
Hard frozen1,315*
Terminated plans115*
DB Participants By Status
Active/Employed 10,529,750*
Separated 6,857,689*
Retired 10,075,066*
Footnote: * Data has been updated/revised since initial publication in PLANSPONSOR magazine.


The 2018 Defined Benefit (DB)Administration Survey summarizes the capabilities of DB administration providers and excludes providers focused on investment-only, consultant/advisory and actuarial services. All data are as of December 31, 2017, and include only “full outsourcing” and “co-sourcing” arrangements. Some new client restrictions may apply; contact the provider for details. Email surveys@strategic-i.com for more information.