Retirement Plan Advisor Trends

Competition in the defined contribution (DC) market is intensifying. To maintain profitable relationships with financial advisors managing DC assets, asset managers must align their investment products and value-added offerings with plan advisor needs. Similarly, for recordkeepers to grow and retain business, it’s imperative that they ensure the right tools and services are available to plan advisors.

Retirement Plan Advisor Trends examines the role of advisors across all channels, with a specific focus on retirement plan specialists. The report enables plan providers and DC investment managers to pinpoint competitive strengths and weaknesses in brand and key plan advisor experience metrics to grow market share and strengthen plan advisor loyalty.


The report will enable subscribers to:

Grow Market Share
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 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
  • 35 plan providers and 50 DC investment managers evaluated

Subscription Details

Publication Date: September 2018


  • 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

Brand Equity

  • Unaided and aided consideration and awareness
  • Brand impression and imagery association
  • Consideration of DC investment managers by asset class and product type
  • Key drivers of consideration
  • Net purchase intent

Usage, Satisfaction and Loyalty

  • Penetration and usage
  • Share of plans and assets
  • Loyalty and satisfaction with a battery of product and service attributes
  • Key drivers of satisfaction and loyalty

Plan Advisor Profile

  • Percentage of advisor compensation from DC plans
  • Percentage of AUM in DC plans
  • Comparison of emerging vs. established producers
  • Number and size of plans managed
  • Plan advisors acting as 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciaries
  • Plan advisors offering multi-employer plans
  • Services provided to DC plan sponsors and participants
  • Most important aspects of plan advisor, sponsor and participant support
  • Most valuable features on participant websites

DC Plan Investment Design

  • Services provided to DC plan sponsors and participants
  • Number of plan providers and investment managers recommended
  • Number and type of investment options recommended
  • Most important aspects of plan advisor support
  • QDIA option used most often
  • Target date fund features and brand recommendations

New in 2018!

  • Extended plan advisor service and support ratings for plan providers
  • Reasons for planning to stop/stopping recommending plan providers
  • Reasons for planning to stop/stopping recommending investment managers

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