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The top 25 401(k) plans
The country’s largest retirement plans have a lot of things in common. A high percentage of employees participating. A robust match. A well-integrated financial wellness program. A large number of assets under management. The latter factor, in particular, gives businesses a leg up in negotiating fees and setting the terms of the relationship with their plan provider.

Indeed, General Motors’ Bill Grotz says of his company’s plan, “The investment menu includes fund options with competitive fees based on our large plan size.”

Listed here in descending order, Employee Benefit News, in partnership with business intelligence data analytics firm miEdge, presents the top 25 401(k) plans in the United States based on plan-year-end net assets as of April 9, 2018. Plan sponsors include this information in Form 5500 Schedule A data submitted annually to the Department of Labor.

Lynn Dudley, senior vice president of global retirement and compensation policy at American Benefits Council in Washington, D.C., says businesses with high-ranked retirement plans are savvy about fee disclosure and management.

“Companies have gotten much better at … negotiating the lowest fees they can for their employees,” says Dudley. “If you have more money, you’re going to have more negotiating power.”

Smaller businesses also look to larger plans to monitor trends in savings management. Other trends seen in the large employer market include custom-designed benefits and services that employees are not likely to receive with a small company, Dudley adds, including individual help with asset management.

“You’re seeing financial literacy broaden out to encompass a broader swath of an individual’s financial circumstances,” she says. “It’s not uncommon to have somebody come in and talk to employees, but also to invite spouses.”

There continues to be a steady increase in automatic enrollment and automatic escalation. For example, Dudley points to a proposal in Congress now that would allow plan sponsors to continue to escalate their employees’ contributions beyond the current law’s 10% cap.

Editor’s note: As EBN fact-checked the data that follow, some companies submitted more updated numbers that would shift their place in the ranking. In order to maintain consistency, as not all companies replied to multiple fact-check requests, this listing reflects the latest official data in the federal government’s Form 5500 database. Because business plan years start at different times, some company data are from 2016 and others are from 2017. All listings reflect the most recent government records as of April 9, 2018. Those that did provide updated numbers that are not yet in the federal government’s database are indicated by an asterisk, with the updated data at the bottom.