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

Default Deferral Rate

While there is clear evidence that adopting automatic plan features can improve participation rates and participants’ asset allocation, there is less conclusive data on how such features affect participant savings rates. The good news is that default deferral rates are rising, as the percentage of plans where the deferral rate exceeds 3% has increased for five straight years and now stands at nearly 50%. However, deferral rates across all respondents seem to have clustered around 7% and appear indifferent to the default rate.


Default Deferral Rate

  • ≤2%
  • 3%
  • 4%
  • 5%
  • ≥6%
  • other

Plans With >3% Default Deferral Rate

2014
42%
2015
41%
2016
42%
2017
47%
2018
48%
2019
48%

Average Participant Deferral Rate, by Default Rate

<3%
7.3%
3% – 5%
6.8%
>5%
7.0%