DC Survey: Plan Benchmarking

Data Sweep: Our latest findings on DC plans—for benchmarking a plan against its peers or just gleaning some new solutions

2019 Survey

2019 Survey


Understanding plan fees has long been a concern for sponsors, which may be why 78% calculated their administrative fees in the past year. However, improvements in fee disclosure and transparency have reduced the perceived need to benchmark fees, as less than half (48%) did so this year, vs. 55% in 2017. Participants continue to bear most responsibility for recordkeeping fees but also benefit from falling investment management fees—65% of plans now have an average asset-weighted expense ratio of less than 0.50%, a material increase from the 54% of plans in 2017.

Plan Calculated Administrative Fees Since 2017 Survey

Yes, and benchmarked fees
Yes, but did not benchmark fees

Who Pays Recordkeeping Fees

  • Plan only – Via participant accounts
  • Employer only – Paid outside of plan
  • Both plan and employer

Average Asset-Weighted Investment Expense Ratio

  • <0.25%
  • >0.25% – 0.50%
  • >0.50% – 0.75%
  • >0.75% – 1.00%
  • >1.00%