Fees have become the top reason retirement plan sponsors switch providers, outpacing poor service, according to a new Spectrem Group report. Nearly one-third (30%) of plan sponsors cited cost/fees as the primary factor precipitating a change in plan providers, according to the report, “DC Market Needs.” This surpassed poor service (26%) and investment issues (12%), and represents the first time that fees have been cited by Spectrem as the number one reason study respondents gave for changing providers. In 2005, cost/fees finished third (18%) to both poor service (45%) and investment issues (26%). Fees also came in third in 1999 and 2002.
“The newfound focus on fees coincides with increased attention paid to fees and fee disclosure by the media and regulators over the past couple of years,” said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group, in a statement. “Of course, sponsors’ greater scrutiny of fees puts pressure on providers to reduce them and, consequently, may impact margins in an already competitive market segment.”