Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services ranks first overall in satisfaction among 401(k) sponsors, a soon-to-be released study of 401(k) plan sponsor service satisfaction by DALBAR Surveys Inc., a Boston-based mutual fund research firm, shows.
The DALBAR survey segmented 401(k) plan sponsors into large (more than 5,000 employees), medium (between 500 and 5,000), and small plan categories (less than 500), and asked executives to rate the quality and value relative to cost of the services provided by 401(k) vendors. Service categories included investment management, overall participant services and overall sponsor services.
Fidelity received the highest satisfaction ratings from all three size categories. Interestingly, except for ranking Fidelity No. 1., sponsors in the different size segments did not concur on the best service providers, suggesting a bias by plan size toward certain vendors.
Among large plans, The Vanguard Group of Investment Cos. was second in the overall satisfaction ranking and IDS Institutional Retirement Services was third. Midsize plans ranked T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. in second place and Prudential Defined Contribution Services, third. Small plans placed IDS in second place spot and Prudential third.
For investment management services only, large plans named Mellon Bank Corp. No. 1, and for record keeping and compliance only, selected Vanguard, followed by Kwasha Lipton and Putnam Investments.
Medium-size plans were most satisfied with investment management services from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. and with record keeping from Buck Consultants Inc., Scudder Stevens & Clark Inc., Kwasha Lipton and Godwin Booke & Dickenson.
For small plans, Vanguard provided the best investment management services and Merrill Lynch Asset Management, Fidelity, IDS and Massachusetts Mutual the most satisfactory record keeping services.