Advisers Boost 403(b) Participants’ Retirement Confidence and Savings

An AXA study of K–12 403(b) plan participants found advisers bring both emotional and financial value.

K–12 403(b) participants who used an adviser had a 34% higher median balance in their accounts than those who had the option to use an adviser but did not do so, according to a study of more than 1,000 respondents by AXA US.

In addition, those using an adviser reported they were extremely or very satisfied with the performance of their 403(b) plans, compared with those who had an adviser option but didn’t use it—75% vs. 56%. And 79% of participants who used an adviser were confident in reaching their retirement goals, compared with 59% who did not.

The study found respondents who worked with an adviser had 33% higher average monthly contribution levels, and 65% of participants using an adviser invested in two or more funds versus 55% of those who had an adviser option but chose not to use it. Two-thirds of respondents attributed earlier enrollment in retirement plans to adviser influence.

Those using an adviser also tended to take a more active role: 80% of them kept an eye on their account’s overall performance, compared with 70% of those who didn’t use an adviser. Eighty-six percent of participants who used advisers also believed that doing so helped them set and stick to their retirement savings goals.

The AXA US study is the basis for the white paper “Enhancing Outcomes, The Value an Advisor Brings to K–12 Participant Preparedness and Account Performance in 403(b) Plans.”

AXA recently launched the 403(b) Learning Lab, a retirement savings tool designed and developed specifically for K–12 employees.