Best in Class DC Providers



THE 2020 PLANSPONSOR DEFINED CONTRIBUTION (DC) SURVEY summarizes plan sponsor satisfaction with DC recordkeeper offerings in 23 areas of service covering five broad categories: Participant Services; Sponsor Services; Service Teams and Support; Plan Administration; and Investments and Fees. Responses were gathered via an online questionnaire distributed to approximately 20,000 DC plan sponsors sourced from prior surveys and PLANSPONSOR’s subscription database; the questionnaire was also sent to client lists supplied by DC recordkeepers. A total of 2,343 usable responses was received by the close of the survey, late this past November.

To qualify for inclusion in the published results, a provider had to meet quotas in each of six asset-based markets; see charts starting on page 20 for details. A total of 17 providers qualified for listing in at least one market. More information on the markets serviced by these providers and others can be found on page 29, as well as in our 2020 Recordkeeping Survey, available at plansponsor.com/research (free registration is required).

Best in Class Awards are based on sponsor satisfaction within a given area of service. Ratings were derived from the percentage of respondents “completely satisfied” (9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) less those that were “dissatisfied” (6 or less). The three highest-scoring providers in each service category earned a Best in Class Award, as did those providers with a net satisfaction rate above the asset group’s benchmark score, which is given in each chart.

Service Commendations were given to recordkeepers that did not receive Best in Class honors but exhibited strong client satisfaction within a service attribute—i.e., more than 70% of clients were “completely satisfied” with the service offering.

Results are presented by individual market to ref lect differences in the competitive landscape. Leader boards are used to indicate the highest scoring providers in certain areas. Expanded listings are available at PLANSPONSOR.com. For more information, email surveys@issmediasolutions.com.

Net Promoter® Score

FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS, PLANSPONSOR has used a modified version of Satmetrix Systems’ Net Promoter System (NPS®)* to measure sponsor satisfaction. Based on a single question—on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend a company to a friend or colleague?—NPS provides a single-metric snapshot of customer loyalty and has been shown to have strong correlation with positive business outcomes such as client retention and long-term growth. Because of these factors, NPS has become something of an industry standard for measuring and reporting client satisfaction.

NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are “detractors,” giving a score of 6 or less, from the percentage who are “promoters,” giving a 9 or 10. The thinking is that this measure gives equal importance to clients who love a company’s product or services and to those who are less happy—and possibly at risk of leaving for a competitor that offers something better. “Passives”—7s and 8s—are thought to be only somewhat satisfied and do not inf luence the final score. Forrester Research Inc. published its 2020 Net Promoter Benchmark report this past November and found that the top Net Promoter Score across 250 brands, representing 14 industries, was 59%, which roughly corresponds to the Best in Class benchmark used in the DC Survey. For additional information, please visit netpromotersystem.com.

*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.


IN A YEAR dominated by issues connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, including new legislation, unprecedented market volatility and a host of workforce/financial concerns—e.g., layoffs, furloughs, revenue loss, etc.—PLANSPONSOR sincerely appreciates the support our readers showed for the 2020 Defined Contribution (DC) Survey, which continues to be one of the largest datagathering tools of its kind in the industry.

While the results are highly representative of industry trends, a complete view of sponsor satisfaction is difficult given the size of the market and the number of providers competing. This raises an important question: Why are more recordkeepers not included in the DC Survey? The quick answer is that many providers fail to reach the response quotas specific to a given market. While we do not publish results for these providers, the data that were collected suggest that aggregated satisfaction scores for unpublished providers are slightly lower than those received for listed providers.

PLANSPONSOR is committed improving the accuracy and coverage of this survey and welcomes your participation in our 2021 survey. Respondents receive a complimentary plan benchmarking report. Please email surveys@issmediasolutions.com to be added to the list of invitees.

Net Recommendation Rate

Qualifying providers
Other providers

= Listed in the DC Survey; = Represents the market, but not listed in the DC Survey

Providers Assets($MM) Micro Small – A Small – B Midsize Large Mega
1 Fidelity Investments $2,421,205
2 Empower Retirement1 $643,766
3 TIAA $638,585
4 The Vanguard Group, Inc. $547,274
5 Alight Solutions $459,202
6 Principal Financial Group $419,534
7 Voya Financial $377,864
8 Prudential Retirement $243,860
9 Bank of America Corporation $242,630
10 T. Rowe Price $214,038
11 Transamerica Retirement $195,830
12 Charles Schwab $187,378
13 John Hancock $168,272
14 MassMutual1 $160,708
15 Conduent HR Services, LLC $150,191
16 Nationwide $148,717
17 Newport $136,949
18 Capital Group $83,227
19 Ascensus $81,032
20 ADP Retirement Services $80,618
21 Lincoln Financial Group $75,229
22 AIG Retirement Services $74,435
23 OneAmerica $57,524
24 ICMA-RC $54,962
25 Alliance Benefit Group2 $50,322
Other Notable Providers
29 Milliman, Inc. $35,378
30 The Standard $23,083
31 Securian Financial $20,925
32 CUNA Mutual
Retirement Solutions
1Empower Retirement announced in September 2020 that it intends to acquire MassMutual’s retirement plan business. 2Alliance Benefit Group data are as of December 31, 2018.