Retirement plan sponsors are growing more trustful of advisors’ expertise, but many sponsors remain uncertain about just what it is that advisors can do to help them, the latest sponsor attitudes survey from Fidelity Investments shows.
In other words, advisors have to do a better job of selling their services to plan sponsors, according to Fidelity’s fourth annual Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey, which finds that sponsors’ top two expectations of advisors are 1) to help them navigate fiduciary responsibility and 2) to provide expertise on investments and retirement readiness for plan participants.
Fully 84% of the 937 plan sponsors surveyed said they used an advisor and satisfaction was increasing, but more than one-third, 38%, said they were unsatisfied while 10% said they were actively looking to switch advisors.
However, advisors since 2008 have made improvements in their relationships with sponsors, said Jordan Burgess, head of defined contribution investment-only sales at Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions, in a phone interview on Monday. Fidelity serves as recordkeeper to more than 20,000 plans and 12.6 million participants.
Burgess noted that in 2008, 45% of sponsors were unsatisfied with advisor performance while 17% were taking action to switch to a new advisor.