February 8, 2010
San Diego startup, BrightScope, recently launched with the intention of helping people get a better grasp of their company’s 401k plan and how it rates against others across the spectrum. It is truly an independent rater of these programs which gives them the ability to provide good unbiased ratings and reviews of a wide range of 401k’s.
According to Brightscope’s site, the mission is:
“to increase the retirement security of America’s workforce by bringing transparency and efficiency to the 401k plan market. We maintain a comprehensive database of information on the 401k plan market and add additional value and insight by quantitatively rating each 401k plan across critical metrics. BrightScope empowers plan sponsors to quickly and accurately determine the optimal structure for their 401k plan and choose the providers that provide the most value for the fees they charge.”
BrightScope maintains a database of info with data coming from sources like the Department of Labor, the SEC, and a variety of other sources. Visitors can utilize the site to get in depth stats on the retirement plans of many companies in the directory. For instance I did search on Google and found its plan scored an 84 (see the screen-shot below).
It shows the rating of the Google 401k as compared to others in its peer group. It also shows several other comparisons related to fees, average balances, and company generosity. Brightscope could be a great tool for studying the details of their 401k plan as it allows the participants to take this data back to the plan administrators so they can make better educated decisions. Too many times, rating companies are influenced by sponsorship or other factors that taint the data. So I also like the fact that Brightscope provides an independent source to get unbiased information.
BrightScope has raised $2 million from Steelpoint Captial Partners and is looking to build out their service even further. They will be a demo company at the upcoming TECH cocktail San Diego on February 11th so make sure to head over and register to see them and a number of other great local start-ups.
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