Saturday, March 25, 2023

Guide to Defined Contribution Record Keepers

Below is a list of the top national defined contribution record keepers (listed alphabetically)


There are likely hundreds of companies that provide record keeping services to 401k plans, many on a regional basis; but only 37 that provide service nationally. ForexTV has compiled a list of defined contribution record keepers from industry sources that service their 401k clients on a national basis. This list provides an overview of the markets they serve by plan size as well as their distribution and service models.

It is common for plan sponsors to have questions about what roles each of the DC providers play in servicing their plans, this list should serve as a helpful guide to navigate the various service levels of the record-keeping providers.

To understand the relationship between Advisors, Record Keepers and Money Managers, using healthcare as the example, the advisor is the doctor, the record keeper is the hospital and the money managers are the pharmaceutical companies. Each of these parties are referred to as service providers.

Record keeper usually will target different-sized clients and may offer varying levels of service, some offering bundled services. This ForexTV record keeper list indicates markets serviced by plan size. This may be helpful when plans are looking for a new provider or to determine if a plan may need to upgrade to a record keeper that may provide additional services due to plan growth.

According to industry reports, 90% of plans with 50-10,000 employees currently use an advisor not affiliated with the record keeper, not all providers will work with an advisor as noted in this list of record keepers. Many of the record keepers that work with plans under $25 million commonly partner with an independent Third Party Administrator (TPA) to provide administrative services called the “unbundled” service model while others provide those services themselves under a “bundled” model.

As previously discussed, there are many regional record keepers that will provide a high level of expert service, this list is not intended as a commentary on service quality, rather it is designed to identify those record keepers that offer service on a national basis.


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*Service model description

Bundled service – record keeper does administration

Unbundled service – record keeper works with independent third party administrator

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