NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Thank your employer for offering a 401(k) retirement plan. It's a big deal. And if you work for one of the companies listed below, you're receiving the most generous benefits available in the U.S. BrightScope, the financial benefits research firm, says these companies "value setting their employees up for a strong financial future."

The research firm examined plan vesting schedules, eligibility periods and all contributions to the plan made by the company for the sole benefit of the plan's participants. Companies in professional services, science and technical fields dominated, representing half of all the plans listed.

Six of the top 10 plans allow immediate vesting: workers are fully vested from the first day of employment. The average account balance for plans on the "most generous companies" list is $470,014 – much higher than the average balance of all plans within the BrightScope system ($99,061).

The average amount a company contributes to each plan on the list is $31,181, compared to the plan average of $4,184. And the average participation rate is 96.49% -- compared to an average of 85.03%.

"Generosity is an important means for companies to recruit and retain top employees," says Brooks Herman, head of data and research at BrightScope. "Its importance is exemplified by the fact that half of the companies on this list have been on one or more other BrightScope rankings this year, and several more have been featured in years past."

The 30 Most Generous Companies are:

  • 1. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - Retirement Plan of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • 2. North American Partners in Anesthesia, LLP - North American Partners in Anesthesia, LLP Profit Sharing Plan
  • 3. Oregon Anesthesiology Group, P.C. - Oregon Anesthesiology Group, P.C. 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan
  • 4. Frontier Refining & Marketing Inc. - Frontier Retirement Savings Plan
  • 5. O'Melveny & Myers LLP - O'Melveny & Myers LLP Keogh Plan
  • 6. Zeta Associates - Zeta Associates Incorporated Savings Plan
  • 7. Shearman & Sterling LLP - Shearman & Sterling LLP Partners Retirement Plan
  • 8. Anesthesia Service Medical Group, Inc. - Anesthesia Service Medical Group, Inc. 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan Trust
  • 9. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP - Retirement Plan of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
  • 10. Bryan Cave LLP - Bryan Cave LLP Retirement Plan for Partners
  • 11. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP- Retirement Plan for Lawyers of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • 12. Kay Scholer LLP - Kaye Scholer LLP Retirement Plan
  • 13. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Retirement Plan
  • 14. Deloitte LLP - Deloitte Profit Sharing Plan
  • 15. United States Member Clubs of the National Hockey League - National Hockey League Pension Plan for Players of United States Member Clubs
  • 16. Ernst & Young U.S. LLP - Ernst & Young Partnership Retirement Plan
  • 17. Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP - Weil, Gotshal & Manges Partners' Target Pension Plan
  • 18. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP Supplemental Profit Sharing Plan for Partners
  • 19. Jones Day - Jones Day Retirement Plan
  • 20. Jennison Associates LLC - Jennison Associates Savings Plan
  • 21. Duane Morris LLP - Duane Morris Retirement Plan
  • 22. Dodge & Cox - Dodge & Cox Profit Sharing Plan & Trust
  • 23. Sutter Medical Group, Inc. - Sutter Medical Group 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan
  • 24. United Parcel Service Company - UPS/IPA Defined Contribution Money Purchase Pension Plan
  • 25. Gould Medical Group, Inc. - Gould Medical Group, Inc. 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan and Trust
  • 26. Garland Industries, Inc. - The Garland Industries, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan & Trust
  • 27. Tufts Medical Center Physicians Organization, Inc. - Tufts Medical Center Physicians Organization, Inc. 401(a) Retirement Plan
  • 28. McMaster-Carr Supply Company - McMaster-Carr Supply Company Profit Sharing Trust
  • 29. National Basketball Association - NBA-NBPA 401K Savings Plan
  • 30. Northwest Permanente, P.C. - Northwest Permanente, P.C. Retirement Plan Money Purchase Pension Aspect

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet