Retirement Plan Advisor Trends

Exploring the attitudes, behaviors and preferences of the most critical players in the distribution of DC plans

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The report will enable subscribers to:

Uncover the criteria plan advisors use when making recommendations and ensure your firm earns a place in their consideration set to grow market share

Track how your competitors perform on key brand, service and loyalty metrics

Develop programs that match plan advisors’ expectations for service and support to build loyal relationships



  • 500 advisors across the National wirehouse, Regional, Independent,
    RIA and Bank channels
  • Retirement plan advisors evaluated by DC AUM
  • Web-based survey
  • 35 DC plan providers and 45 DC investment managers evaluated


Subscription Details

Survey fielded: August 2019
Publication: September 2019


  • Detailed report including a summary of findings and strategic implications
  • Custom data cuts and survey work by senior analysts

Investment: $35,000


Areas of Inquiry

Plan Advisor Profile

Practice Overview:

  • Distribution of DC plan producers by DC AUM
  • Comparison of Emerging vs. Established producers
  • Number and size of DC plans managed
  • Most important aspects of plan advisor, sponsor and participant

Practice Overview:

  • Availability, types and components of financial wellness programs offered
  • Usage/interest in multiple employer plans, health savings accounts and
    401(k) student loan matching
  • Impact of SECURE Act on DC advisory model

DC Plan Investment Design

  • Number and types of investment options recommended
  • Number of target date fund providers used
  • Target date fund selection criteria and brand recommendations
  • Types of qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) offered
  • Availability and types of retirement income solutions offered

DC Plan Provider & DC Investment Manager
Brand Equity

  • Awareness, impression and consideration of leading plan providers and investment managers
  • Performance on critical brand attributes that drive selection
  • Consideration of DC investment managers by asset class and product type
  • Strengths, weaknesses and growth potential of the leading firms
  • Brand engagement within the pastsix months across 12 types of contact

DC Plan Investment Design

  • Number of plan providers and investment managers used
  • Overall market penetration of the leading firms
  • Satisfaction with and loyalty to current DC plan providers and DC investment managers
  • Performance on critical service and support ratings that drive satisfaction and loyalty
  • Recent changes in DC plan provider and DC investment manager recommendations
  • Reasons to stop recommending DC plan providers and DC investment
Services provided to DC plan sponsors and participants
• Impact of fee disclosure regulations
• Number of plan providers typically recommended
• Number and type of investment options typically recommended
• QDIA option used most often
• Target date fund recommendation
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Retirement Plan Advisor Trends