Plan advisors require flexibility from retirement plan providers to meet their clients’ changing needs, a new report concludes.
Transamerica Retirement Services, Los Angeles, published this finding in a summary of results of a national listening tour with retirement plan advisors. The company spoke with financial advisors to learn about the most pressing business issues they face and to seek input about how their needs can be best be fulfilled.
The report finds that retirement plan advisors remain focused on increasing client satisfaction and on guiding their clients through market volatility and upcoming regulatory changes. The report also indentifies the five top trends facing plan advisors of small and mid-sized company-sponsored retirement plans.
1. As the April 1, 2012 deadline approaches for 408(b)(2) disclosure rules, plan advisors are expanding their efforts on fee education and transparency related to all plan services.
New regulations center on the disclosure of plan fees and the corresponding value for services. Advisors view their role as helping to educate their plan sponsor clients so that they clearly understand plan fees.
2. Market volatility has intensified the importance of improving plan participants’ retirement readiness.
Plan advisors are helping sponsors with plan design options such as auto-enrollment and auto-escalation in order to improve participation and deferral rates, the report finds. Advisors are also helping sponsors develop, and in some cases implement, participant education strategies.