Better Data, Better Outcomes:
Introducing the Public Retirement Research Lab
Defined Contribution Database
In 2020, NAGDCA and the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) launched the Public Retirement Research Lab (PRRL). This collaborative project creates a first-of-its-kind database for public sector defined contribution retirement plan information, which will be used as a primary source of information for cutting-edge retirement research.
NAGDCA has compiled reference information to share with your Board or Committee to help communicate the concept of the PRRL.
Click below to download the flyer and to authorize your participation.
Why is it Better?
Improved Benchmarking – Because Outcomes Matter
Read the Table Below to See What We’ve Improved
Benchmarking Survey Challenges
|It provides useful, but incomplete information. NAGDCA’s goal is to provide information to help members make better decisions for their plan. The results of our survey often vary too much to give clear insights to drive action.||The database at the core of the PRRL will maintain consistent data over time, allowing plan sponsors to confidently use the data to make decisions.|
|It’s too much work for plan sponsors. Our current survey takes each plan many hours over several days to complete.||The database will be populated directly by the plan’s recordkeeper. We anticipate the plan sponsor being involved, especially in the first year, but the main coordination will happen between each recordkeeper and PRRL staff.|
|The sample size is too small. The time and effort involved in completing our current survey has prevented many plan sponsors from participating.||The reduced workload is expected to increase participation among our members. The database will also be able to support participation by non-NAGDCA member plans, creating an opportunity for future growth.|
|The questions are interpreted at the plan level. Each survey we receive is completed using the judgement of the individual plan sponsor. While we worked to simplify the questions over time, we could not ensure the individual interpretation was consistent for each plan.||NAGDCA is engaging with recordkeepers at the corporate level to create consistent inputs and interpretation for each data point in the database.|
|The results can be inconsistent. The results of our current survey can vary widely year-to-year depending on which plans participate.||While the data in the database is encrypted, the encryption remains consistent over time which ensures the data is consistently represented every year.|
|Individual plan insights are limited. Plan-level data can offer helpful comparisons, but does not provide understanding of plan dynamics beyond basic averages and medians.||The database will consist of plan-level and participant-level data, opening an entirely new data set to allow plan sponsors to answer questions with much more depth than is possible today.|
|Industry-level understanding is limited. The inconsistent and limited nature of our survey results prevents NAGDCA from providing members with a definitive industry understanding.||NAGDCA and EBRI will use the database to conduct research on industry-level questions to help plan sponsors understand the big picture of the public sector defined contribution industry.|
|NAGDCA legislative advocacy needs better data. NAGDCA is your voice at the federal level, and our efforts to improve legislation and prevent harmful provisions from being enacted rely on convincing data. The current survey results offer limited help in pushing for legislative improvements.||The database will provide a consistent, clear picture of the current and changing state of public sector retirement. This will allow us to focus our advocacy on the industry’s most pressing issues, and to truly be your voice.|