Cogent Syndicated

Retirement Plan Advisor Trends examines the role of advisors across all channels, with a focus on retirement plan specialists managing at least $50M in DC plan assets. The report benchmarks the leading DC plan providers and DC investment managers on key brand equity and experience metrics to help firms grow market share and strengthen plan advisor loyalty.

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


The report will enable subscribers to:

Understand Advisor Needs
Hear firsthand what DC advisors need to better support plan sponsors and plan participants

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

Strengthen DC Advisor Loyalty
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
  • 29 DC plan providers and 44 DC investment managers evaluated

Areas of Inquiry

Plan Advisor Profile

Practice Overview:

  • Distribution of DC plan producers by DC AUM
  • Comparison of Emerging vs. Established producers
  • Number & size of DC plans managed
  • Frequency of formal RFP activity per year
  • 3(21)/3(38) fiduciary status
  • Use of DC aggregator firms

Topical Themes:

  • Availability, types and components of financial wellness programs offered
  • Use of and interest in MEPs/PEPs, health savings accounts, emergency savings accounts and 401(k) student loan matching

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
  • Likelihood of recommending new innovative target date fund features
  • Types of QDIAs offered
  • Availability and types of retirement income solutions offered
  • Frequency of evaluating DC plan investment menus
  • Top criteria for managed accounts
  • Reasons for recommending or not recommending ESG investments

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
  • Strengths, weaknesses and growth potential of the leading firms
  • Brand engagement within the past six months across 15 types of contact

DC Plan Provider & DC Investment Manager Use and Experience

  • 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
  • Changes in DC plan provider and DC investment manager recommendations
  • Use of and interest in and appeal of full-service digital plan providers

Subscription Details

Publication Date: October 2023

  • Detailed report including a summary of findings and strategic implications
  • Custom data cuts and survey work by senior analysts
  • Customized strategy session and presentation designed to deliver actionable results and facilitate strategic planning

Investment: $35,000

Retirement Plan Advisor Trends-2023-FS_Preview