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BrightScope Inc., which bills itself as “a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research,” has released a list ranking the 21 San Diego companies with 401k plans containing more than $100 million in assets.

The company assigns a numerical score to each retirement program using an algorithm that evaluates total plan cost, generosity of employers through such means as employee contribution matches, and the quality of investments available to plan participants.

Topping the list for the second time (the survey was first conducted in 2010) were Anesthesia Service Medical Group, Inc. and Scripps Clinic Medical Group, Inc., receiving respective scores of 91.9 and 89.11. From there scores dropped considerably, with third-place Sempra Energy Group and fourth ranked Qualcomm Inc. garnering 83.68 and 82.17 rankings.

Most plans ranked in the low 80s and throughout the 70s, with the bottom three finishers, Scripps Health, Sharp Healthcare, and Jack in the Box Inc. receiving respective rankings of 63.74, 61.16, and 55.39.

San Diego based BrightScope launched in 2009 after successfully lobbying the U.S. Department of Labor to make statistics regarding individual companies’ 401k plans available online, which allows the company to use the data in compiling ratings and making comparisons. The company currently tracks about 46,000 retirement plans.

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