2018 Plan Administration Guide, Part One

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

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DB Service Providers

DB Administration Industry Snapshot

DB Industry Snapshot
Total DB administration clients5,894
Total DB plans11,381
Total DB participants27,803,778
Estimated DB assets$2,122b*
DB Client Relationships by Service Model
Single-plan DB clients 35%
Multiple-plan DB clients 8%
DB and DC clients 39%
Other DB-bundles 18%
DB Plans By Type
Corporate: single-employer9,963
Corporate: multiemployer113
Nonprofit/Church/Social service296
DB Plans By Size
<100 participants 6,303
100 – 1,000 participants 2,355*
>1,000 – 5,000 participants 1,283
>5,000 – 25,000 participants 892*
>25,000 participants 420
DB Plans By Status
Active/Open plans 2,807
Closed plans744
Partially frozen164
Soft frozen 274
Hard frozen1,315
Terminated plans104
DB Participants By Status
Active/Employed 9,829,750
Separated 6,347,689
Retired 9,395,067
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.

Defined Benefit Administration Survey Archive

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.