Top 100 Plans Credit Match with Success

February 13, 2002 ( Plan sponsors looking to overcome dismal participation rates may find a solution close at hand - the company match.

In fact, 94% of PLANSPONSOR’s Top 100 Defined Contribution plans offer some form of company matching contribution – and 55% credit a rich company match with their high participation rate, 88% on average.

That’s considerably better than the 75% average participation rate in PLANSPONSOR’s 2001 DC survey, published last November, from which the Top 100 were drawn.

Plan sponsors on a budget do have alternatives.  Other reasons cited for high participation by the Top 100 were:

  • communication/education efforts, listed by 48%,
  • attractive plan features such as immediate vesting and Internet access, cited by 31%,
  • a well-educated or mature workforce was mentioned by 22%, and
  • having auto-enrollment in place was listed by 15%

And while the match was the most commonly cited reason, 62% of the employers in the Top 100 also offered access to company stock as a match or an investment option for employees. 

On average, the firms offered 15 investment options to participants, though the number of options did not appear to have a determinative impact on the level of participation.

This year’s Top 100 plans represent a total of more than $151 billion in defined contribution assets and more than 1.7 million participants. 

To be included in the Top 100 a plan had to have a minimum participation rate of 80% in the defined contribution plan, and a minimum of $100 million in plan assets.