Strategic DC Analytics: Use the Numbers for HR Strategy

Plan sponsors know that defined contribution (DC) retirement plans represent a key source of retirement income for many of their employees.

But many organizations don’t realize the role that a DC plan can play in their HR strategy. Evaluating and analyzing your DC plan goes beyond contribution rates and account balances.

How can Strategic Defined Contribution Analytics help with your workforce planning? Sibson uses methodical diagnostics to create customized reports about your plan’s patterns that are measurable and actionable. Sibson’s strategic deeper dive into plan data helps plan sponsors:

  • Understand how specific cohorts of your population are benefiting under your DC plan and how that may affect your HR goals
  • Analyze projected staffing needs based on growth, unexpected early retirements, and aging workforce populations
  • Reward critical roles/high potential employees
  • Consider investment decisions and deferral patterns
  • Integrate employee engagement

Sibson DC Plan Strategic Scorecard

Evaluating and analyzing your DC plan goes beyond contribution rates and account balances. “Return on investment” is for both financial and people performance.

Take our brief, confidential questionnaire to receive your customized “scorecard” that measures how strategically you are utilizing your DC plan and how effectively your DC plan is aligned with your company’s goals (and learn how you can “improve your grade”).

Get your score ›

Strategic DC Analytics in Action: Case Studies

How have organizations used Defined Contribution Analytics to their advantage?


NEW Case Study: Helping Top Employees Join the “Winner’s Circle”
A mid-size private company whose sales force contained some of the organization’s most strategic roles identified its top sales employees as part of the “Winner’s Circle.” The client rewarded the Winner’s Circle with a trip to a beach resort and other financial incentives. However, when HR looked into the top performers’ 401(k) contribution rate, they found it was low. Learn more ›


Case Study: Asset Allocation
The benefits manager at a mid-size tech organization found that the majority of its employees who had started with all their investments in target-date funds (TDFs) now had only a portion of their assets in TDFs. Some had allocations in multiple TDFs. The client was concerned that its employees were not using TDFs appropriately. Learn more ›


Case Study: Defined Contribution Plan Deferral Patterns
The benefits director at a large national entertainment company noticed on a recent record keeper report that the average defined contribution (DC) plan deferral percentage for mid-career personnel had decreased since the prior year. Learn more ›


Case Study: Plan Success through Improved Communication
A mid-sized insurance company was struggling to increase participation in their 401(k) Plan, but the employee base was slow to change. Generic communications programs provided by the recordkeeper were intended to boost participation but had not improved contribution. Learn more ›


Case Study: A Plan With Many Uses
A global aerospace company recognized the potential value in the defined contribution plan it offered as both a business-planning tool and a recruitment/retention tool. Management saw both high participation rates and high balances relative to an individual’s projected retirement age as measures of success in the 401(k) offering. Learn more ›


Case Study: Increasing DC Plan Participation
Defined Contribution Analytics helped an organization increase their plan participation rate from 75% to almost 90%. How did they do it? Learn more ›

In the News

One of Sibson’s DC Analytics consultants was recently featured in PLANSPONSOR magazine:

"How to Measure Employee Retirement Readiness," PLANSPONSOR, January 2018

"Quantifying retirement readiness involves understanding what savings employees will need to attain a secure retirement, gathering relevant financial and other data on all employees and then running the numbers to determine how each employee stacks up,” says Doron Scharf, senior vice president with Sibson.


"Measuring Employees’ Retirement Readiness Is Imperative for Businesses," PLANSPONSOR, December 2017

Jonathan Price, Sibson Consulting vice president and consulting actuary, notes that if Baby Boomers are not ready to retire on time, it hurts the younger generations’ career progression. "Younger generations may not wait—they may leave or become unengaged," he says. In addition, the Sibson publication says, employees unable to retire on time may consume a disproportionate share of the organization’s resources in the form of higher salaries and benefits.

According to Price, when plan sponsors look at retirement readiness, the conventional wisdom is just to confirm they are ready to retire on time, but they need to also consider if employees are ready to retire earlier than the employer expects. 


"Harvesting the Right Facts and Figures," PLANSPONSOR, September 2017

Data analytics "can show a plan sponsor a projection of which employee groups a change in ‘auto’-features will help – not just [a projection] for the company as a whole, but for different demographic groups," says Jonathan Price. For example, an employer that is thinking of implementing auto-escalation may want to know how that would affect employees in some age groups more than others.

Data analysis also can project how much a plan-design change would affect specific work force segments. "Let’s say a plan has 84% participation now and the employer’s target is 90%," Price says, "An employer can look at: Working with the tools we have, how can we get to 90%?" 

Partner with Sibson

Learn what your DC’s plan data reveals – and how you can use that information to plan for success.


Doron Scharf,

Senior Vice President &
Consulting Actuary

Contact Doron ›


Jonathan Price,

Vice President &
Consulting Actuary

Contact Jonathan ›

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