Workers say these are the 4 best workplace retirement plan providers

If you have access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k), consider yourself fortunate — and then make sure you are maxing out any employer matching contribution.

If you have a workplace retirement plan provided by Charles Schwab, consider yourself even more fortunate. Folks who participate in workplace retirement plans just rated Charles Schwab the best provider in the J.D. Power 2018 Group Retirement Satisfaction Study.

This is the first time that J.D. Power, known for its ratings, has rated group retirement plans like 401(k)s.

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The recently released study evaluates the financial services companies that manage workplace retirement plans. Ratings are based on the satisfaction of some 9,500 folks who participate in such a plan — that is, employees themselves.

J.D. Power measured plan participants’ satisfaction based on six factors:

  • Interaction across live and digital channels
  • Investment and service offerings
  • Fees and expenses
  • Plan features
  • Information resources
  • Communications 

RELATED: Check out the best and worst places to retire in 2018: 

Best and worst states for retirement 2018
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Best and worst states for retirement 2018
1. Florida – You knew it had to be high on the list, didn't you? In terms of affordability, Florida topped the list while it placed fifth in terms of quality of life, overcoming its 20th-ranked healthcare rating.

2. Colorado – Ranked second in healthcare while quality of life came in 8th place, Colorado is constrained by its 23rd-place ranking in affordability.

3. South Dakota – The home of Mount Rushmore is the second most affordable state and ranked sixth when it came to healthcare, but can't break the top half in quality of life (ranked 32nd).
4. Iowa – Not typically thought of as a retirement destination, Iowa has decent rankings across the board (9th in healthcare, 11th in quality of life and 26th in affordability).

5. Virginia – Quality of life ranks well in Virginia (9th) while affordability and healthcare rankings are above average (18th and 21st respectively).

The next five desirable retirement states after Virginia are, in order, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.

What about the five states with the worst rankings? In descending order, they are:

46. Arkansas – Dead last in quality of life and 45th in healthcare, Arkansas is pulled up by its 20th-place showing in affordability.

47. Mississippi – The same principle applies to Mississippi, but even more so. The state is 49thin quality of life and last in healthcare, but it ranks 10th in affordability.
48. Rhode Island – Healthcare is above average (22nd), but quality of life and affordability are poor at 46th and 48th place, respectively.
49. New Jersey – The least affordable state in the union also has below average rankings in quality of life (28th) and healthcare (33rd).
50. Kentucky – Kentucky ranks 47th in both quality of life and healthcare and only 38th in affordability, earning the Bluegrass State WalletHub's least desirable retirement state ranking for 2018.

Each plan provider received a rating out of a total of 1,000 points. No. 1 ranked Charles Schwab earned a rating of 824, making it one of only four providers to earn a rating of more than 800:

  1. Charles Schwab (824)
  2. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (808)
  3. Vanguard (805)
  4. PNC Retirement Solutions (806)

The lowest-ranked provider, Paychex, earned a rating of 718. To see how other plan providers fared, check out J.D. Power’s charts.

Just note that in the long run, the fees you pay as a retirement plan participant are more important than the name of the company that manages your retirement plan. Those fees are what can rob your nest egg of tens of thousands of dollars — if not more — over the course of your working life.

To learn more about retirement plan fees and how you can combat them, check out “Of All the Fees You Pay, This Is the Worst.”

So, how would you rate your retirement plan provider out of 1,000 points? Let us know why by commenting below or on Facebook.

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