Sponsors Set the Bar Higher on Advice

Plan sponsors are looking for expert guidance on a broader range of issues than two years ago, including alternative plan structures, cybersecurity, financial wellness and special needs caregivers. More than 70% of sponsors still say they want additional services. Priorities have shifted since the 2016 survey: investment selection and monitoring now top the list, followed by a new entry — working with participants on financial planning and other forms of financial wellness. Participant education and communication, which used to be number one is now ranked third. The larger the plan, the more sponsors want these services.

The services sponsors want and their priorities have changed since the first survey1

The services sponsors want and their priorities have changed since the first survey

Source: Voya Investment Management. The base for the results is those sponsors who do not currently receive each type of service.

*Slight re-wording: in 2016, attribute read “Ongoing participant education and communication.”

Another new category entered the list in 2018 but didn’t rank as highly: guidance on other types of retirement plans; e.g., deferred, non-qualified plans and defined benefit plans. Sponsors no longer seem so concerned with plan design, fiduciary services or choosing a QDIA.

Survey of the Retirement Landscape: Insights from Current Research

Voya Investment Management recently released the second edition of its survey of retirement plan sponsors and plan advisors, to identify and better understand the current service needs of sponsors and help DC-focused advisors better align their offerings and priorities to meet those needs. Though some perceptions have changed since the initial survey in 2016, views on a few key issues have evolved and several new issues have arisen. We present key findings of the study in this series of insights. For all the research results, read Survey of the Retirement Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities for Advisors.


1Sponsors: for which of the following retirement plan functions would you like your financial advisor to offer or provide help?

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