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Judy Diamond Associates Analysis Reveals the Utilities Industry Has Experienced the Most Improvement in Retirement Preparedness Over Five Years

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Judy Diamond Associates, the 401k plan intelligence provider of leading financial advisors, brokers and fund companies, today released an analysis of national retirement preparedness by industry, revealing that 401k plans sponsored by the Utilities industry showed the greatest positive trends over the past five years.

Judy Diamond Associates, Inc.

"By looking at historical trends in plan performance, we saw that there were clear differences in how different industries are preparing their workers for retirement," said Eric Ryles, managing director of Judy Diamond Associates.  "Employees in the Utilities and Mining industries saw their plans improve more often than participants in other industries."

Each of the 20 major industry classifications described by the North American Industrial Classification System was ranked on changes to their average account balances, participation rates, employee and employer contributions, their rates of return and the number of plan red flags over a five year period.  Red flags are indicators of weakness in plans and are available exclusively in Retirement Plan Prospector, Judy Diamond Associates' 401k analysis and lead generation database.  The industries were ranked across each metric based on the ratio of plans that saw improvements in performance compared to the number of plans that saw declines. The individual rankings for each metric were then combined into a single, overall score for each industry and the industries were ranked accordingly.

Some interesting highlights from the research include:

  • When its ranks across all metrics are combined, the Utilities industry is the top performer.
  • 401k participation rates for all industries declined more often than they rose.
  • The trends toward decreasing employee and employer contributions were strongest in the Construction industry.
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, as a group, was ranked 19 out of 20 in participation rate, but finished third overall due to very high levels of employee and employer contributions, as well as solid plan design.
  • The Management of Companies and Enterprises industrial grouping saw the greatest ratio of 401k plans with increasing rates of return to plans with decreasing rates of return.

Overall ranks of improvement in retirement preparedness by industry:

Overall Rank

Industry Name

NAICS Two-Digit
Industry Code

Total Plans










Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting




Management of Companies and Enterprises








Arts, Entertainment and Recreation




Finance and Insurance




Public Administration




Educational Services




Wholesale Trade




Accommodation and Food Services




Transportation and Warehousing








Other Services




Real Estate Rental and Leasing




Administrative and Support and Waste
Management and Remediation Services




Retail Trade








Professional, Scientific and Technical Services




Health Care and Social Assistance




Judy Diamond Associates based this research on the most recently available 401(k) plan disclosure documents released by the Department of Labor, which are available in its Retirement Plan Prospector database. Retirement Plan Prospector is an intuitive and comprehensive online sales prospecting and plan analysis tool, providing insights to the defined contribution and defined benefits markets.

For more information about this research, please contact us at or follow us on Twitter @401kFacts


Judy Diamond Associates is the premier provider of sales prospecting and plan analysis tools for benefits brokers, financial advisors, plan providers, and carriers serving the employee benefits and retirement markets.  Judy Diamond Associates offers instant access to 5500 plan data and a broad suite of analytical tools designed to support the lead generation, relationship building, market research, and plan analysis needs of benefits and retirement professionals.  Judy Diamond Associates' business is built on a commitment to superb customer service and data integrity. We provide all of our customers with free training and access to our customer support hotline, 800-231-0669. Our team of data professionals is dedicated to ensuring our tools offer the most comprehensive, accurate and current data available.

Judy Diamond Associates is a Summit Professional Networks company.

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SOURCE Judy Diamond Associates

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