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The Best 401(k) Plans

Written by Nickel - 5 Comments

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As a followup to my earlier post about the worst 401(k) plans, here’s a look at Business Week‘s list of the best 401(k) plans. Once again, these were rated based on criteria like participation rate, default rate, fees, and employer match. The full list includes fifty plans. I’ve listed below the twenty best 401(k) plans.

Twenty Best 401(k) Plans

  1. Saudi Arabian Oil
  2. Bank of New York Mellon
  3. Greenwich Capital Markets
  4. Southwest Airlines
  5. Piper Jaffray
  6. Nucor
  7. FedEx
  8. Amgen
  9. McDermott Will & Emery
  10. Chevron
  11. Mosaic
  12. Exxon Mobil
  13. ConocoPhillips
  14. Hercules
  15. Latham & Watkins
  16. Sun Microsystems
  17. Pfizer
  18. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
  19. MBIA
  20. Church & Dwight

Once again, plans were rated on a wide variety of factors, including participation rate, default rate, fees, and employer match. While the inclusion of participation rate might introduce a bias for or against certain types of employers, I’d still rather see my plan on this list as compared to the other one.

Published on March 30th, 2009 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Retirement,Saving & Investing

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Funny that the best 401(k)’s are with companies that are the current high flyers– like the oil companies. It will be interesting t o look at this list again when their fortunes turn and see if they are still as generous . . .

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 30th 2009 @ 8:08 am
  2. I’m not surprised Southwest Airlines made this list. They are constantly in the news for being a great employer. I try to do as much business with them as I can when I travel!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 30th 2009 @ 10:12 am
  3. Since energy is such a volatile market, many oil and gas producers hedge the majority of their production, so they aren’t affected as much by the price volatility. If they’ve hedged enough, then they’re doing as well now as they did before.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 30th 2009 @ 10:31 am
  4. It would be nice if either BrightScope or BusinessWeek provided you a little bit of information on how any of the plans actually work.

    i.e. What is the employer contribution, what is the company match, how long to vest, and what are the fees and investment choices? I really don’t care how big the total plan is, or how high the participation rate is, I want to know what the plan can do for me.

    Information like the average account balance, the net assets, and the number of members are pretty useless statistics if, for example, you wanted to compare job offers from two competing companies on the list.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 30th 2009 @ 1:05 pm
  5. Piper Jaffery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 18th 2010 @ 10:16 am

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