The survey found that overall satisfaction with retirement plan providers was some 220 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) when plan participants said they were very confident in a majority of the 11 areas related to retirement measured in the study, compared with those who said they were not confident at all in at least one area. These are the areas in which participants expressed confidence (or not):
- Knowing how much money needed for retirement
- Knowing how to calculate money needed for retirement
- Knowing how much money needed for health care expenses in retirement
- Being financially ready for retirement
- Keeping up with inflation in retirement
- Not outliving assets
- Leaving money for heirs
- Decision about amount of money contributed
- Decision about selected investments
- Decision about allocation of assets
- Decision about money saved through plan vs. money saved outside of plan
Among study respondents who identified as very confident in a majority of areas, 46% said they definitely would keep assets with their provider, either in the plan or a rollover, after leaving their job. Forty-seven percent reported that they had rolled in assets to their primary firm.
Most retirement plan participants reported using a combination of website, mobile and phone channels to interact with their plan providers. However, when awareness and/or usage of mobile capabilities is limited, J.D. Power said, providers are missing an opportunity to both increase participant satisfaction and reduce dependency on more expensive service channels.
Satisfaction increases dramatically among participants who actively use the mobile channel, not only for reviewing information but also for transaction and communication, it said.
According to the study, retirement plan participants have the highest levels of overall satisfaction, 877, and confidence in a majority of areas when they are actively engaged with their retirement plan provider across multiple channels, including online retirement tools, digital self-service options and professional advisors.
The study, now in its second year, evaluates participant satisfaction with providers of group retirement plans based on six factors: interaction across live and digital channels; investment and service offerings; fees and expenses; plan features; information resources; and communications.
Plan providers are ranked in three categories based on their overall mix of business in terms of average plan size. Here are the high scorers on group retirement plan satisfaction:
- Charles Schwab – 821
- Nationwide – 811
- Bank of America – 809
- T. Rowe Price – 800
- Vanguard – 795
- Bank of America – 836
- Fidelity Investments – 814
- Nationwide – 813
- Vanguard – 780
- Prudential Financial – 776
- Fidelity – 790
- Nationwide – 789
- John Hancock Retirement Plan Services – 745
- MassMutual – 743
- Principal Financial Group – 743
— Check out 8 Mistakes Retirees Make That Harm Their Retirement on ThinkAdvisor.