Relatively few RIAs service 401(k)s and other employer-sponsored retirement plans even though the market beckons as a huge growth opportunity, according to a new study.
A recent TD Ameritrade Institutional Advisor Survey found that advisors want a deeper understanding of the rules and more guidance in pulling together components they need to service the U.S. retirement plan market.
Nearly eight of 10 survey respondents said that RIAs as a group were well-positioned to increase their share of the $5 trillion in defined contribution retirement plan assets. Market brokerages, insurers and mutual fund companies have long dominated this market.
Yet 62 percent of RIAs service 10 or fewer plans, including nearly 19 percent who work with no plans, according to the survey. Other industry research indicates that only 6 percent of retirement plan advice specialists are RIAs, TD Ameritrade said in a statement.
Maritz Inc. conducted a telephone survey with 300 RIAs on behalf of TD Ameritrade between Nov. 4 and Nov. 15.
The U.S. retirement market has grown to about $22 trillion, and analysts expect the market to reach $24 trillion by 2017, according to the study.
TD Ameritrade noted that Department of Labor rules that mandate greater fee transparency and changes in the definition of “fiduciary” could tilt the playing field in favor of RIAs.
The survey found that nearly half of respondents were currently directing time and resources toward the retirement business. Another 19 percent said they did not currently have plans, but likely would in the near future.
“RIAs recognize the retirement plan business is a tremendous growth opportunity for the industry and a chance to gather additional assets they are not capturing today,” Skip Schweiss, managing director at TD Ameritrade Institutional and president of TD Ameritrade Trust Company, said in the statement.
“There’s no denying the retirement business has more moving parts, but with a little help and guidance advisors believe they can assemble an important new growth enterprise.”