T. Rowe Price’s first “Defined Contribution Consultant Study” found that leading consultants expect the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act will succeed in expanding retirement plan coverage, and inspire participants to save more. The survey was conducted among 20 of the leading defined contribution (DC) consultants, serving more than 5,500 plan sponsors with nearly $4 trillion in assets under advisement.
The consultants also said they expect some plan sponsors to move to multiple employer plans (MEPs).
“Our study shows consulting firms are rising to the challenge, shifting their business models, pursuing efficiency and scale, and expanding services,” says Lorie Latham, a senior DC strategist at T. Rowe Price.
A majority of the consultants (80%) ranked longevity risk as either the No. 1 or No. 2 source of concern for participants in retirement planning. They also ranked successful retirement outcomes as the most important aspect of plan design.
The consultants said they broadly support sponsors’ growing interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing but are waiting for best practices, especially in light of new guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL).
When it comes to capital preservation, the majority of consultants recommend stable value.
“T. Rowe Price is uniquely positioned to provide the marketplace with a 360-degree view of the retirement environment landscape since launching this new study, and we were pleased to help them on this important view from consultants,” says Stacy Schaus, founder and chief executive of Schaus Group, which conducted the survey in partnership with T. Rowe Price.