According to a study from the industry advocacy group Retirement
Advisor Council, “Partner with a Professional Retirement Plan Advisor and
Achieve Higher Participant Retirement Readiness Scores,” working with a
financial adviser entirely dedicated to retirement plans gives plan sponsors
an edge over peers who do not do so. The study compares retirement
specialist advisers with two other broadly defined channels—benefits consultants
and investment consultants—that are regularly engaged by retirement plans.
Many findings in the report’s underlying survey suggest the
advantage of working with a retirement specialist over other types of
consultants, Steven LaValley, second vice president of retirement services at
MassMutual Financial Group, tells PLANADVISER. LaValley’s firm, along with a
number of others, cosponsored the research with the Retirement Advisor Council.
Perhaps the most telling statistic, LaValley says, is that
out of all employers reached for the survey who reported having an existing
service arrangement with a retirement specialist, 60% say their adviser is doing
an “excellent” job supporting plan operations, and 40% say their adviser is doing a “good”
job. In other words, not a single plan sponsor reached for the survey gave a retirement
specialist adviser a “bad” or “fair” overall rating.
says that a substantial achievement gap is apparent across every service area
measured by the survey, showing that retirement specialists are the best at what they do. “Clients of professional retirement plan advisers are
much more likely to strongly agree that their plan is easy to administer, and
that they can spend reasonable amounts of time and expense running the plan,”