New Cogent Syndicated Study Names Top 10 Plan Providers for Website and Online Capabilities

September 21, 2021

Bank of America, John Hancock, Prudential Retirement, T. Rowe Price and Fidelity have the highest DC plan participant satisfaction for website and online capabilities, according to a new study. High satisfaction in this area is increasingly important as the study also finds that website and online capabilities play a critical role in driving plan provider satisfaction. Lincoln Financial Group, Charles Schwab, Empower Retirement, AIG Retirement Services and ADP Retirement Services round out the top 10 firms among 24 plan providers rated. These and other findings are from DC Participant Planscape™, an annual Cogent Syndicated study from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics advisory firm.

“Website and online capabilities are critical among millennials and Gen Xers so this is an important area to benchmark,” said Sonia Davis, senior product director at Escalent and lead author of the report. “In fact, among these cohorts, digital capabilities are more influential than a host of other factors including investment performance, problem resolution and transparency of fees.”

The providers listed below have the strongest satisfaction ratings for websites and online capabilities this year.

Top Ten Firms for Participant Satisfaction with Websites and Online Capabilities

(% Top Three-Box)

  1. Bank of America – 82%
  2. John Hancock – 77%
  3. Prudential Retirement – 76%
  4. T. Rowe Price – 76%
  5. Fidelity Investments – 76%
  6. Lincoln Financial Group – 75%
  7. Charles Schwab – 74%
  8. Empower Retirement – 73%
  9. AIG Retirement Services (formerly VALIC) – 71%
  10. ADP Retirement Services – 71%

Base: Current plan participants; rankings are among the top 24 firms eligible to be rated
Source: Escalent. Cogent Syndicated. DC Participant Planscape™. July 2021.

More than eight in ten participants (81%) have logged in to their plan provider websites over the past year, primarily to check account balances and review investment options. To spark more frequent log-ins, participants recommend sending email/text alerts linking to new information and adding online dashboards with real-time account information. Others advocate for incorporating online tools and calculators, retirement income/expense worksheets and simplified descriptions of plan investment options.

“Millennials and Gen Xers would also welcome easy-to-use trading platforms, short educational videos, better mobile capabilities and personalized education such as real-life stories and inspirational savings tips,” said Linda York, senior vice president at Escalent. “These younger participants are really looking for and valuing a more comprehensive digital experience with their plan providers.”

About DC Participant Planscape™

Cogent Syndicated, a division of Escalent, conducted an online survey of a representative cross section of 4,044 DC plan participants from May 18 to June 13, 2021. Survey participants were required to be 18 years or older and contribute at least 1% to a current plan and/or have $5,000 or more in at least one former plan. Targets were set to investor gender, region, age, education and household income using US census data filtered by the screening criteria (a market-sizing flyover survey was used in order to filter the US census data). The data have a margin of error of ±1.54% at the 95% confidence level. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

For more information on the DC Participant Planscape report, click below.

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