“Overall, we have about two-thirds of advisers saying they’re very satisfied with the plan providers they’re using,” Linda York, research director at Cogent Research and study author of Retirement Plan Advisor Trends 2012, told PLANADVISER.
The key driver of advisers’ satisfaction with current providers is value for the money. “So it’s not necessarily being the cheapest or being the most transparent about fees,” she said. Advisers also reported being very satisfied with providers’ support and services for plan sponsors, as well as support for advisers themselves. The report found providers are giving advisers and sponsors proper problem resolution, responsiveness and online capabilities.
According to the report, there is a lack of strong satisfaction—not necessarily dissatisfaction, York said—in areas such as internal wholesaler support and retirement product service and innovation from providers.
Those seeking new providers said service and support is most important. According to the report, 32% of advisers are now reevaluating their list of recommended plan providers as a result of the new fee disclosure regulations, and 13% said they are responding to more requests for proposal (RFPs) for new plan recordkeeping services.
In the adviser/sponsor relationship, 46% of advisers said they now provide more guidance for sponsors to help them review fee disclosure material. In addition, 34% of advisers said they are offering more services to their clients.
The Web-based survey was conducted in July and August with 520 advisers who have at least 5% of assets under management (AUM) in 401(k)s.
To learn more about subscribing to the full Retirement Plan Advisor Trends report, contact Cogent Research at http://my.spectate.com/fs-retirement-plan-advisor-trends-2012-cogent-research-page.