For 401(k) plans, record keeping platforms serve as the central place where plan participants interact with their corporate retirement plans. Among other functions, participants use these platforms to log into their accounts, get access to investments, make changes, and get important notices. As the gateway to a participant’s 401(k), the role of record keeper is as an important service provider that could substantially improve a participant’s experience with her plan or frustrate it.

Institutional Investor surveyed the professional buyers — the plan advisers — who frequently know and work with these record keepers and ultimately make the recommendations that help plan sponsors determine which record keeper is the right one for their plans. A total of 472 advisers voted in the 2018 survey, nominating 44 record keepers.