2019
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

Automatic Features

Automatic enrollment is frequently cited as a way to improve participant outcomes, yet such automatic features remain underutilized by smaller plans, where their adoption is only one-third that at larger plans. Overall, participation rates can increase by 10% to 15% with auto-enrollment, but only one in four micro plans have implemented it. When they do auto-enroll, sponsors overwhelmingly prefer target-date funds (TDFs) as the default investment. Use of auto-escalation somewhat mirrors that of auto-enrollment, though many sponsors choose to offer it on an opt-in, vs. opt-out, basis.


Plans Using Automatic Features

Auto-Enrollment
Auto-Escalation
All plan sizes
48%
23%
<$5mm
26%
7%
$5mm – $50mm
47%
22%
>$50mm – $200mm
66%
39%
>$200mm
71%
39%

Average Plan Participation Rates

Auto-enrollment and -escalation
89%
Auto-enrollment only
83%
Auto-escalation only
67%
No “auto” plan features
73%

Trend in Plans Using a TDF for Default Investment

2014
61%
2015
62%
2016
66%
2017
66%
2018
73%
2019
74%