Advisers Adjust Practices to Meet Retirement Income Needs

In response to the market downturn, financial advisers are adjusting how they construct and manage portfolios to meet the income needs of clients living in retirement, according to a new report.

The report—released by GDC Research and Practical Perspectives, independent consulting firms working with wealth management providers and distributors on retirement solutions—reveals that one in seven advisers has made a significant change in how they construct retirement income portfolios, and 77% have changed how they allocate assets in response to the capital markets environment. Of the advisers surveyed for the study, 36% are less confident now than they were one year ago in their ability to manage assets for retirees, according to the press release of the results.

The findings indicate that advisers perceive building retirement income portfolios to be more complex, time-consuming, and customized than managing assets for pre-retirement clients and becoming increasingly so, the announcement said.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • Considerable variation exists across distribution channels in how advisers manage retirement income portfolios.
  • The vast majority of the advisers—roughly nine in 10—are hands-on in key aspects of managing retirement assets, although half are influenced by other sources in allocating assets, researching products and selecting providers.
  • There is increasing distinction between satisfying income “needs” and “wants.”
  • Advisers tend to follow either a risk-adjusted total return approach (54%) or a pooled approach (46%) to solving the income dilemma for clients, with key differences apparent in each group.
  • Advisers are generally satisfied with the solutions available to them at present and prefer to receive greater support on the process of delivering retirement income rather than on specific retirement products.
  • Most advisers rely on familiar investment vehicles and providers for creating retirement income portfolios, with only modest interest in many of the new retirement income solutions.




The full report, “Examining Best Practices in Constructing Retirement Income Portfolios,” is available for purchase by contacting or