If you have access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k), consider yourself fortunate — and then make sure you are maxing out any employer matching contribution.
If you have a workplace retirement plan provided by Charles Schwab, consider yourself even more fortunate. Workplace plan participants — meaning employees themselves — recently rated Charles Schwab the best provider in the J.D. Power 2019 Group Retirement Satisfaction Study.
This study is in its second year, and Charles Schwab has earned the highest overall satisfaction rating both years.
The study rates the financial services companies that manage workplace retirement plans. This year, the ratings are based on the responses of some 8,300 workers who participate in such a plan.
J.D. Power measures participants’ satisfaction based on six factors:
- Interaction across live and digital channels
- Investment and service offerings
- Fees and expenses
- Plan features
- Information resources
Each plan provider included in the study received a rating out of a total of 1,000 points. This year, the overall satisfaction ratings ranged from Charles Schwab’s 821 to Paychex’s 686. Paychex also earned the lowest rating last year.
Large workplace retirement plans
Among providers for large plans, the average overall satisfaction rating is 773.
The three providers that earned the highest ratings for large plans — and their satisfaction ratings — are:
- Charles Schwab: 821 out of 1,000
- Nationwide: 811
- Bank of America: 809
Medium workplace retirement plans
Among providers for midsize plans, the average satisfaction rating is 763.
The three providers that earned the highest ratings for midsize plans are:
- Bank of America: 836
- Fidelity Investments: 814
- Nationwide: 813
Small workplace retirement plans
Among small-plan providers, the average satisfaction rating is 730.
Those that earned the highest ratings are:
- Fidelity Investments: 790
- Nationwide: 789
- John Hancock Retirement Plan Services: 745
To see how other providers fared, check out J.D. Power’s charts.
Getting more out of your retirement plan
Getting to know your workplace retirement plan provider and the resources it offers could boost your satisfaction with the provider and boost your confidence in your retirement preparedness.
The study found that participants are most satisfied with their plan providers and most confident in their retirement when they are actively engaged with their plan provider in multiple ways — such as by taking advantage of online retirement tools, digital self-service options and professional advisers.
Just note that in the long run, the fees you pay as a retirement plan participant are more important than the name of the company that manages your retirement plan or how you would rate the provider.
Those fees can rob your nest egg of tens of thousands of dollars — if not more — over the course of your working life. To learn more about retirement plan fees and how you can combat them, check out “Of All the Fees You Pay, This Is the Worst.”
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