Partner Corner: Benchmarking Employee Benefits

By: Kim McVicker

Retain staff members with competitive employee benefits.

Challenge: Our association is under financial pressure as a result of the recession and must remain competitive to retain staff members. What are other organizations doing with employee benefits and retirement programs?

Solution: A variety of sources are available to benchmark your retirement plan and compare your benefit features. The "Impact of Economic Conditions on 403(b) Plans" study from the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA) provides metrics that can help you evaluate your competitiveness. Key findings include

Additional Benchmarking Resources for 403(b) and 401(k) Plans

2009 Total View: Detailed analysis and trend information based on proprietary data of The Principal Financial Group.

The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security: Best-practices guide based on experiences of small and mid-sized organizations recognized for excellence in employee benefits.

  • 73.4 percent of 403(b) plan sponsors surveyed did not change their employer match during the 2008-2009 plan year. Similarly, PSCA's study found that 76 percent of 401(k) sponsors made no changes to matching contributions in 2008-2009.
  • 43 percent of plan sponsors increased employee education efforts due to economic conditions.
  • 17 percent added investment advice for employees.
  • Among those who reduced matching contributions, 23.5 percent plan to reinstate matches during the next six months. Among 401(k) plan sponsors who reduced matching, 41.3 percent plan to restore matches during the next six months.

Full survey results can be found at Additional benchmarking and trend data can be found at

Principal Financial Group provides the ASAE-Endorsed retirement solution for associations and nonprofits. Contact Kim McVicker at [email protected] or 515-362-0342 for more information.