November 2014: Education Centers

This report examines the retirement-focused educational resources accessible from the participant websites and retirement-dedicated public sites of our coverage firms. While all general retirement-themed content is taken into consideration in this report, we placed an emphasis on content focused on defined contribution plans and their key features.

In particular, we focused on the following criteria when reviewing the educational content:

  • Accessibility
  • Content
  • Quality and features

Overall, we found that most Retirement Plan Monitor firms provide worthwhile retirement education content across a variety of mediums. Five firms received grades in the A-range for excelling in the quality, diversity and accessibility of their educational content. Each firm that received an A- or higher provided educational content across a variety of mediums that cover both high level and granular topics for participants of all experience levels. Furthermore, all of the leaders house educational content in well-designed centers that are easily accessible from the homepage. Additionally, six firms scored in the B-range, and one received a D.

Every firm covered in this report, with the exception of one, houses educational content in centralized locations. Twelve firms provide dedicated main menu tabs to their education centers, while eight firms also provide access to their education center or featured content via homepage quicklinks.

Most firms cover a wide variety of topics, with all firms offering basic retirement savings resources, and many covering more advanced content, such as investing strategies and plan performance. Most firms cover intermediate level topics as well, like the implications of early withdrawals, which was covered by 14 firms.

Additional key findings include:

  • Every firm covered educational content in at least two different formats and most offer more.
  • Half of the firms offer videos and archived webinars.
  • Five firms offer sorting/filtering options within their education centers, and only one firm offers a search option for its educational resources.