The top priority of nearly every large financial services firm today is to develop a practical strategy for selling retirement income products and services, a new study concludes.[@@]
The study by Financial Research Corporation, Boston, found 88% of responding financial firms consider developing or enhancing retirement income products and services to be “very important” or “of vital importance” to their firm’s strategic planning over the next 1 to 3 years.
The study surveyed 18 financial services firms, including brokerages, banks, insurance companies, defined contribution recordkeepers and mutual fund groups. FRC also interviewed a number of financial services executives.
FRC found 55% of respondents indicated a variety of organizational units were engaged in developing the retirement market.
It found the firms by and large are building a coordinated retirement market strategy that meshes organizational alignment, product development, marketing, and other components.
Among insurance companies, the sales units were the most engaged, because insurers already have a range of income and capital preservation products, such as immediate annuities, already in their arsenals, FRC notes.
Other initiatives FRC’s study found:
?Staff additions and reallocations. For instance, 100% of the recordkeeping firms surveyed reported their firms have either added or reallocated staff to address the need for retirement income services.