Take a peek behind the scenes of other sponsors’ retirement plans and you may gain some useful insights into ways to improve your own retirement plan. Some key findings in a recent benchmarking report include:

  • The most common investment vehicle was the mutual fund, which held 46% of 401(k) plan assets. In all but the largest plans, mutual funds held more than half of plan assets; the largest plans relied more on collective investment trusts, which held about 21% of assets overall for 401(k) plans.
  • At the end of 2012, nearly 70% of 401(k) plans offered target date funds, up from about 29% in 2006.
  • Index funds, which generally offer lower expense ratios than actively managed funds, held about 25% of plan assets in 2012. Plans with assets of $10 million or less had about 10% in index funds, compared to more than 20% in plans with more than $250 million in assets.
  • BrightScope’s research shows plan costs are trending lower. The 2012 average total plan cost (which includes administrative, advice, and asset-based management fees, as well as other fees gleaned from 2012 Form 5500 filings) was 0.91% of assets, down from 1% in 2009.

This information was gathered from private sector 2012 Form 5500 filings and compiled in a report by BrightScope and the Investment Company Institute (ICI), published December 2014. See The BrightScope/ICI Defined Contribution Plan Profile: A Close Look at 401(k) Plans.


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For plan sponsor use only, not for use with participants or the general public. This information is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax or legal advice. You should consult with your attorney or tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation.

Kmotion, Inc., 412 Beavercreek Road, Suite 611, Oregon City, OR 97045; www.kmotion.com

© 2015 Kmotion, Inc. This newsletter is a publication of Kmotion, Inc., whose role is solely that of publisher. The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only and are not intended to provide tax or legal advice or recommendations for any particular situation or type of retirement plan. Nothing in this publication should be construed as legal or tax guidance; nor as the sole authority on any regulation, law or ruling as it applies to a specific plan or situation. Plan sponsors should consult the plan’s legal counsel or tax advisor for advice regarding plan-specific issues.


RP-0181-0315 Tracking #1-361003