Study Examines the Motivations of Plan Sponsors

Employers considering finding a new defined contribution (DC) provider in the next two years are almost equally concerned with understanding legislation, costs/fees, and encouraging employee participation, according to a new study.

A LIMRA news release about its report: “U.S. Employer Trends for Retirement Plans: Implications for Future Retirees,” said the study covered more than 500 plan sponsors to assess their outlook about their plans.

Meanwhile, according to LIMRA, the study found that employers with a defined benefit (DB) plan currently looking or considering looking in the next two years for a DC plan provider are more likely to be planning to drop their DB plan in the next two years than those not thinking about a provider search.

Companies with DC plan assets under $5 million are more likely to consider adding other types of DC plans (profit sharing, money purchase) than companies of other asset sizes, LIMRA found in its poll.

Sponsors with non-401(k) DC plan assets of $1 million or more are more likely than companies with smaller DC plans to be planning to add a 401(k) plan in the next two years.

Nearly 18% of employers plan to make changes to their company match and nearly half of them plan to increase it.

LIMRA said the study also found that employers:

  • have not yet embraced automatic deferral rate escalation or in-plan guarantees;
  • offering a Roth 401(k) are more likely to be more committed to preparing their employees for retirement and have providers that are more engaged;
  • whose DC providers offer employee education are much more likely to be concerned with understanding legislation, employee retirement readiness, costs, and employees’ abilities to make changes to their plans;
  • whose providers offer investment advice are more concerned than those who do not with legislative changes, retirement readiness, costs, participation, and employees’ abilities to make changes to their plans.