BOSTON (TheStreet) -- With the intent of giving investment managers a more transparent look at the funds within 401(k) plans, BrightScope, an independent provider of retirement plan ratings, announced Monday that it will offer fund distribution data and rankings for the 401(k) and defined-contribution industry.BrightScope's database includes a detailed investment menu on more than 50,000 plans, representing nearly 90% of all the assets in 401(k)s. "For years, the 401(k) industry has operated without comprehensive data on which funds and managers have the best distribution," says Mike Alfred, CEO and co-founder of BrightScope. BrightScope's ranking of the top funds in the 401(k) marketplace by total distribution include: American Funds Growth Fund of America, Pimco Total Return, American Funds EuroPacific Growth, SSgA S&P 500 Index, Vanguard 500 Index, Fidelity Contrafund, Fidelity Diversified International, Vanguard Institutional Index, Fidelity Spartan 500 Index and Dodge & Cox Stock. Alfred says the goal was to use audited financial data on investment funds held within 401(k) plans, providing an alternative to the industry's typical survey-based approach. When surveys are done, they usually capture no more than 10% of total distribution and skew heavily toward funds prominent in the survey company's client base, he says. Improved data can give investment managers a better view into their own fund distribution, as well as the distribution of their competitors. "When most people think of 401k plans they think of funds, and the large investment managers in the space are the ones that have the biggest monetary incentive to make changes to the menus because they are getting paid billions to have their funds in these plans," Alfred says. "One way to make this market more efficient is to give better visibility, not just to the general marketplace, but specifically to the investment managers who are spending tens of millions of dollars a year on marketing costs to sort of inefficiently go about marketing their funds to clients, sponsors, financial advisers and all of the people who really control the marketplace."