March 22, 2013

Top 25 401(k)s for NYC-Based Companies: Where Are the Big Banks?

Competition axes Goldman, Morgan Stanley and more from top ranks

The NHL pension plan for U.S. clubs is one of the best plans on the list. The NHL pension plan for U.S. clubs is one of the best plans on the list.

Like everything else in New York, BrightScope’s latest list of the area’s top 25 401(k) plans is seriously competitive—so competitive, in fact, that a surprising number of big banks, brokerages and asset management firms dropped off this year’s list.

With an average account balance of $303,634 and a 98.06% average participation rate this year, the best 401(k) plans in New York did well enough that a majority of the plans that BrightScope ranked below ninth place in 2012 did not appear on the 2013 list.

So say goodbye to AllianceBernstein, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Nomura Securities and OppenheimerFunds.

Yet the news isn’t all bad for the big banks, said Brooks Herman, BrightScope’s head of research. They’re simply a victim of other New York-based companies’ success in putting together outstanding 401(k) plans that include great account balances, participation rates, total plan cost, company generosity and salary deferrals.

"The New York City-based finance companies actually did quite well on this year's list. Eight of the companies on the list are in the financial services industry,” Herman said in an email. “Even though big companies like Goldman Sachs and BlackRock did not make it on this year's list, their individual ratings did improve.”

Goldman Sachs' rating increased this year to 85.7 out of a possible 100 from 85.2 last year, BlackRock's rating increased to 84.5 from 84.4 and Morgan Stanley’s increased to 85.1 from 84. (Read Top 25 Finance Company 401(k) Plans: BrightScope at AdvisorOne for a listing of the best plans nationwide.)

“The newcomers to this year's list were represented by high scores from the law industry, which pushed companies like Goldman Sachs and BlackRock off the list,” Herman explained.

The lowest rating on the 2013 Top 25 list was 86.39 versus 84 in 2012, according to BrightScope, which has released the results of New York’s top retirement plans for three years in a row. The San Diego-based investment research firm offers assessments of retirement plans and financial advisors in its online directories.

“It is indicative to see so many new companies on this year’s New York City top plans list,” said Dan Weeks, co-founder of BrightScope, in a statement. “These employers are paying attention to the retirement benefits they offer and have made huge strides recently to offer more robust plans to employees.”

Keep reading to find out which NYC-based companies made it onto BrightScope’s 2013 list of top 25 401(k) plans.

Top 25 New York City-based 401(k) Plans From BrightScope

Including rating score out of a possible 100 points, number of active participants, total value of plan assets and top funds in the company’s 401(k).

Ernst & Young headquarters in New York. (Photo: AP)25. Ford Foundation—Ford Foundation Retirement Plan—This philanthropic organization has a rating of 86.39 points, more than 300 active participants, $235 million in plan assets and 32 investment options with top three funds as follows: TIAA-CREF Traditional Annuity (40%), TIAA-CREF Stock (29%), TIAA-CREF Global Equities (4%).

24. Ernst & Young U.S.—Ernst & Young Partnership Retirement Plan—This big accounting firm has a rating of 86.55 points, more than 4,400 active participants, $1.3 billion in plan assets and 20 investment options with top three funds as follows: BlackRock US Equity Market Index (30%), BlackRock ACWI Ex-US SuperFund (8%), Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (8%).

23. Hoffmann-La Roche—The Roche Savings and Pay Deferral Plan—This health care manufacturer has a rating of 86.58 points, more than 9,500 active participants, $1.5 billion in plan assets and 32 investment options with top three funds as follows: Fidelity Growth Company (14%), BlackRock Equity Index (9%), SSgA Sub-Advised Guaranteed Investment Contracts (9%).

22. BASF Corp.—BASF Corporation Retirement Savings Plan—This chemical manufacturer has a rating of 86.58 points, more than 18,400 active participants, $2.8 billion in plan assets and 25 investment options with top three funds as follows: BASF Stable Value Fund (30%), Vanguard PRIMECAP (10%), Vanguard Institutional Index (6%).

21. Bessemer Trust Co.—Bessemer Trust Company 401(k) and Profit Sharing Plan—This commercial banking firm has a rating of 86.63 points, more than 800 active participants, $172 million in plan assets and 10 investment options with top three funds as follows: Bessemer Trust Fixed Income No. 4 (20%), Bessemer Trust Large Cap Equity No. 3 (16%), Cash and Cash Equivalents (12%).

Swiss Re headquarters in Zurich. (Photo: AP)20. Swiss Re America Holding Corp.—Swiss Re Group US Employees' Savings Plan—This global reinsurer has a rating of 86.65 points, more than 4,200 active participants, $502 million in plan assets and 22 investment options with top three funds as follows: JPMorgan Stable Value Fund (15%), Vanguard Institutional Index (14%), PIMCO Total Return (14%).

19. Jennison Associates—Jennison Associates Savings Plan—This law firm has a rating of 86.67 points, more than 300 active participants, $103 million in plan assets and 37 investment options with top three funds as follows: Harbor Capital Appreciation (15%), Prudential Guaranteed Income Fund (11%), Harbor International (7%).

18. IBM (International Business Machines)—IBM 401(k) Plus Plan—This technology company has a rating of 86.71 points, more than 203,800 active participants, $37.6 billion in plan assets and 26 investment options with top three funds as follows: Total Guaranteed Investment Contracts (28%), Vanguard Employee Benefit Index Fund (10%), IBM Mutual Fund Window (9%).

17. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom—Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Retirement Plan—This law firm has a rating of 86.86 points, more than 600 active participants, $425 million in plan assets and 21 investment options with top three funds as follows: Total Common Stocks (26%), Total Other Investments (13%), PIMCO All Asset (11%).

16. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.—Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Savings and Investment Program—This pharmaceutical company has a rating of 87.01 points, more than 23,300 active participants, $3.5 billion in plan assets and 26 investment options with top three funds as follows: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. common stock (20%), Northern Trust Galliard Fixed Income (19%), Fidelity Growth Company (11%).

Omaha-based TD Ameritrade, another unit of Toronto-Dominion Bank, at the NYSE. (Photo: AP)15. Emergency Medical Associates—401(k) Profit Sharing Plan for Employees of EMX, LP – This physicians' office has a rating of 87.14 points, more than 800 active participants, $110 million in plan assets and 26 investment options with top three funds as follows: Vanguard Balanced Index (14%), Charles Schwab Stable Value Fund (11%), Vanguard Total International Stock Index (11%).

14. Eisai Corp. of North America—The Eisai Retirement Plan—This medical manufacturer has a rating of 87.19 points, more than 3,200 active participants, $308 million in plan assets and 27 investment options with top three funds as follows: Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock (10%), Fidelity Managed Income Portfolio (9%), PIMCO Total Return (9%).

13. D.E. Shaw & Co.—D.E. Shaw & Co. L.P. 401(k) Plan—This hedge fund has a rating of 87.22 points, more than 900 active participants, $105 million in plan assets and 34 investment options with top three funds as follows: Vanguard 500 Index (18%), Vanguard Total International Stock Index (13%), Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (11%).

12. Shearman & Sterling LLP—Shearman & Sterling LLP Partners Retirement Plan—This law firm has a rating of 87.23 points, more than 300 active participants, $220 million in plan assets and 16 investment options with top three funds as follows: Dodge & Cox Income (18%), Total Common Stocks (13%), Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (12%).

11. TD Securities USA—The TD Wholesale Banking USA 401(k) Plan—This broker-dealer has a rating of 87.39 points, more than 900 active participants, $110 million in plan assets and 27 investment options with top three funds as follows: T. Rowe Price Stable Value Fund (12%), T. Rowe Price Equity Index Trust (7%), T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation (7%).

Credit Suisse headquarters in Zurich. (Photo: AP)10. Credit Suisse Securities USA—Employees Savings and Retirement Plan of Credit Suisse —This broker-dealer has a rating of 88.31 points, more than 22,000 active participants, $2.6 billion in plan assets and 64 investment options with top three funds as follows: Fidelity Managed Income Portfolio (14%), Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth (9%), Vanguard Russell 3000 Index (7%).

9. Weil, Gotshal & Manges—Weil, Gotshal & Manges Partners' Target Pension Plan—This law firm has a rating of 88.40 points, more than 300 active participants, $130 million in plan assets and 17 investment options with top three funds as follows: Total Hedge Funds (18%), Walter Scott & Partners Limited Group Trust International Fund (8%), Genesis Emerging Markets (7%).

8. Stroock & Stroock & Lavan—Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP Retirement Plan and Trust for Partners—This law firm as a rating of 88.91 points, more than 200 active participants, $127 million in plan assets and 12 investment options with top three funds as follows: Total Common Stocks (60%), Total US Government Securities (11%), iShares Core Total US Bond Market (7%).

7. Assured Guaranty Corp.—Assured Guaranty Corp. Employee Retirement Plan—This insurance firm has a rating of 89.37 points, more than 500 active participants, $104 million in plan assets and 30 investment options with top three funds as follows: MainStay Large Cap Growth (16%), BlackRock FFI Institutional (15%), BlackRock S&P 500 Index (12%).

6. General Re Corp.—Employee Savings & Stock Ownership Plan of General Re Corporation and Its Domestic Subsidiaries—This life and health reinsurer has a rating of 89.39 points, more than 2,200 active participants, $893 million in plan assets and 31 investment options with top three funds as follows: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. common stock (56%), Fidelity Retirement Government Money Market (5%), Fidelity Growth Company (5%).

Jeremy Lin as a New York Knick5. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP—Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP Supplemental Profit Sharing Plan for Partners—This law firm has a rating of 89.89, more than 200 active participants, $104 million in plan assets and 24 investment options with top three funds as follows: Fidelity Fixed Income Fund (23%), Fidelity Spartan 500 Index (16%), Fidelity Contrafund (12%).

4. Board of Trustees of NHL Pension Plan For Players of US Member Clubs—National Hockey League Pension Plan for Players of United States Member Clubs—The NHL has a rating of 90.19 points, more than 2,000 active participants, $222 million in plan assets and 22 investment options with top three funds as follows: T. Rowe Price Retirement 2035 (18%), T. Rowe Price Retirement 2040 (17%), T. Rowe Price Retirement 2030 (12%).

3. PMI Global Services Inc.—Philip Morris International Deferred Profit-Sharing Plan—This cigarette manufacturer has a rating of 90.24 points, more than 500 active participants, $241 million in plan assets and 13 investment options with top three funds as follows: Philip Morris International Inc. common stock (29%), BNY Mellon Stable Value Fund (19%), Vanguard Institutional Index (15%).

2. National Basketball Association—NBA-NBPA 401(k) Savings Plan—The NBA has a rating of 91.91 points, more than 700 active participants, $152 million in plan assets and 20 investment options with top three funds as follows: ING Stable Value Fund (26%), Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 (22%), Vanguard Institutional Index (9%).

1. Sullivan & Cromwell—Retirement Plan of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP—This law firm has a rating of 92.55 points, with more than 100 active participants, $137 million in plan assets and 11 investment options with top three funds as follows: total limited partnerships (44%), Vanguard Institutional Index (15%), Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (7%)

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