Survey of the Retirement Landscape: Plan Sponsor Perceptions

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Introduction

Voya Investment Management conducted an online survey of retirement plan sponsors in December 2018, to “take their temperature” of the retirement landscape. The survey sought feedback on a range of concerns such as plan support, investments, participant support, regulatory and compliance issues and plan costs and fees; in addition, it asked respondents about several emerging issues such as financial wellness programs, help for special needs caregivers and cybersecurity. The findings offer perspective on the challenges plan sponsors face and the services needed, and may be helpful in putting your own plan challenges and needs into context.

Many of the study’s findings are segmented by plan size: “smaller” plans with at least $1 million but less than $5 million, “mid-sized” plans with at least $5 million but less than $25 million and “larger” plans with $25 million or more. Please see the Appendix for details on the definitions and methodologies of the study.

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1 Survey question: How important do you believe the following are for you to focus on during the next two years?

2 Survey question: How important do you believe the following are for you to focus on during the next two years?

3 Survey question: In your own words, what are the most significant challenges you face as a retirement plan sponsor?

4 Survey question: To what extent are you involved in decisions to select investment options used for your retirement plan? 

5 Survey question: Please rate your agreement with following statements related to helping plan participants make investment decisions. Offering a tiered investment menu (e.g., target-date funds, core funds and a brokerage/mutual fund window) for different types of plan participants can result in better investing. 

6 Survey question: Please rate your agreement with following statements related to helping plan participants make investment decisions. A plan with too many options or choices can inhibit effective investment decisions.

7 Survey question: Which of the following has your plan advisor recommended or discussed with you when evaluating investment options? (Select all that apply)

8 Survey question: What are the key drivers to changing investment options available in your retirement plan? (Please select top three)

9 Survey question: Please rate your agreement with following statements related to helping plan participants make investment decisions. Participants are best served by investing in target-date funds rather than by selecting individual funds or plan choices. 

10 Survey question: Do you include target date funds as part of the investment options for your plan? 

11 Survey question to plan sponsors not offering target date funds: Would you prefer to have target-date funds as part of the investment options for your plan? 

12 Survey question: What are, or would be, the most important factors in selecting target-date funds (TDFs) used in your plan?

13 Survey question to plan sponsors: Agree or strongly agree with the statement “I am increasingly focused on the outcomes plan participants achieve from their retirement plan investments”

14 Survey question to plan sponsors: How prepared are your plan participants for retirement?

15 Survey question: What are the most important barriers to plan participants being prepared for retirement? (Select top three)

16 Survey question: Which of the following are the most important challenges for your plan? (Select top three)

17 Survey question: What are the most important goals of financial wellness programs for plan participants? (please select top three)

18 Survey question: Please indicate which of the following components of a financial wellness program you currently offer or plan to offer.

19 Survey question: Which of the following do you consider the key challenges in offering a financial wellness program? 

20 Please rate your agreement with following statements related to helping plan participants make investment decisions: Providing more robust and detailed information on investment options can assist participants in making better investment decisions. Improving monitoring, tracking and benchmarking of individual participant investment goals can lead to better investment outcomes. Incorporating digital planning and advice tools can help participants make better investment decisions.

21 Survey question: Which of the following methods of advisor outreach do you believe are most effective in educating and supporting plan participants? (select top three)

22 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Americans with Disabilities: 2010” 

23 Examples of special needs include congenital disorders such as Down syndrome or autism, debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis or issues related to mental health, catastrophic events such as strokes or heart attacks or aging populations such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. 

24 Source: Family Caregiver Alliance: Caregiver Statistics – Work and Caregiving, 2016.

25 Survey statement Figure 5A: I am overwhelmed by the increasing compliance and regulatory burdens related to our retirement plan. Survey statement Figure 5B: I want more help understanding my fiduciary responsibilities.

26 Survey question: What are your most important retirement plan regulatory concerns? 

27 Survey question: How has your focus or emphasis on managing plan costs and fees changed over the past 12 months? 

28 Source: “Retirement Plan Cybersecurity Disclosure to Make Everyone Satisfied,” Rebecca Moore, PLANSPONSOR, April 10, 2019.

29 Survey statement: My preference is to work with an advisor who specializes in retirement plans.

30 Survey question: What support is important to you in choosing an advisor to work with?

31 Figure 22A: I have a growing need for support from my retirement plan advisor. Figure 22B: I am demanding more services and plan expertise from the advisor we work with. 

This information is proprietary and cannot be reproduced or distributed. Certain information may be received from sources Voya Investment Management (“Voya IM”) considers reliable; Voya IM does not represent that such information is accurate or complete. Certain statements contained herein may constitute “projections,” “forecasts” and other “forwardlooking statements” which do not reflect actual results and are based primarily upon applying retroactively a hypothetical set of assumptions to certain historical financial data. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements. Any opinions, projections, forecasts and forward looking statements presented herein are valid only as of the date of this document and are subject to change. Nothing contained herein should be construed as (i) an offer to buy any security or (ii) a recommendation as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling any security. Voya IM assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information.