Holy Transparency, Batman! If you like Zillow, and you have a 401(k) plan, have I got a website for you. BrightScope has now publicly launched its rating website, in which you plug in a particular company’s name and the site then provides you with a colorful, graphic presentation of that particular plan’s performance and structure in comparison to certain benchmarks and comparable companies. Its simply a lot of fun, and, moreover, allows an easy, quick overview of a particular plan, without having to wade through all of the paper information for a particular plan. This facet alone makes it worthwhile, in a world in which plan participants really do need an understanding of the details of their companies’ 401(k) plans but may not have the time or expertise to parse the documents themselves. I certainly am not advocating limiting participant education to checking BrightScope, but every piece of information – the more accessible and transparent the better – helps. At the end of the day, its been my experience that, in all areas of the law, the more information, the less litigation, and I think that is clearly the case with regard to retirement funding. Remember that piece of folksy wisdom the next time you see someone pause in the face of government moves to increase 401(k) plan disclosure and transparency.
I have actually been playing with their site for awhile, while it was in testing, but its now been publicly unveiled, so you can go there yourself and see what I am talking about. I could say more about the site, what it does and how it runs, but I don’t have to, because Josh Itzoe has done it for us, right here, and you can go test run it yourself now, right here.