Brightscope Inc., the San Diego firm that rates 401(k) retirement plans and financial advisers, put out its fourth annual Top 30 Ratings List covering retirement plans with more than $1 billion in assets.

The five highest rated plans on the list are Marathon Oil Co. Thrift Plan; The Savings Plan of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.; Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Retirement Savings Plan; Wellington Retirement and Pension Plan; and Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan.

The firm ranked the plans with the help of academics and independent 401(k) fiduciaries by analyzing more than 200 data points that covered a broad range of components such as total plan cost, company matching and the menu of investment choices.

Brightscope said it’s increasingly getting more of the data it needs directly from plan sponsors and record keepers. It augments this information with data available through public sources such as reports from the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CEO Mike Alfred said it’s clear that plan sponsors are using tools like his firm’s ratings to improve their plans. “Better plans lead to better outcomes for each and every participant who depends on their plan for a dignified retirement,” he said.

— SDBJ Staff Report