Retirement plan sponsors are paying close attention to advisors’ value propositions. A survey released in January by MassMutual identifies what they’re looking for.
MassMutual surveyed over 560 retirement plan sponsors with less than $75 million in assets under recordkeeping. Most respondents — 449 — were working with an advisor.
“MassMutual’s research points to what we call the ‘winning combination,’ the key values that employers want from a financial advisor who services and supports retirement plans,” Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president for MassMutual Retirement Services and Worksite Insurance, said in a statement.
Sponsors were asked to choose from a variety of advisor personas to identify which combination of values offered would be most helpful in plan management. Advisors who emphasized employee education and good customer service as part of their core value proposition were chosen most often.
“Education is very important to sponsors, regardless of whether they are currently working with an advisor. The majority would like an advisor to educate employees on the retirement plan benefits as well as the importance of contributing to the plan,” according to the report.
However, the report found that advisors have noticed that desire among plan sponsors but have struggled to get cooperation from plan sponsors and support from providers in delivering on that value.
“Advisors find it difficult to motivate sponsors to schedule a time where they can come in and conduct group or one-on-one meetings,” according to the report.
Education was “imperative” to sponsors, the report found. The majority of respondents wanted an advisor to provide in-person education at least annually, but over a quarter of sponsors who don’t currently have an advisor and 34% of those who do want someone to come in semiannually to meet with participants.