Way back at the start of this wild year, we celebrated the launch of BrightScope, a leading light in the movement for greater (indeed, the greatest possible) transparency in the retirement plan market. We titled that first item "A Great Leap Forward." Today, we're pleased to note another step in the right direction: BrightScope's consolidation and presentation of data from Form 5500 for a huge number of plans--somewhere, we think, in the neighborhood of 500,000.
Here's an example: 5500 data from Boeing.
Now, those 5500s have their shortcomings. They're dated by the time they go public, their categories are funky, and they're only as complete as sponsors make them...so their completeness varies widely.
But for what they're worth, these data are now more clearly presented and more easily available to participants, sponsors, and service providers than they've ever been. Well done, BrightScope.