While the majority (80 per cent) of U.S. retirement plan sponsors rate their record keeper as excellent or very good, they’re also seeking more support for plan members’ financial wellness, according to a new survey by Greenwich Associates.
The survey, which polled 145 U.S. retirement plan sponsors and 15 U.S. consultants, found among plan sponsors, the highest ranked services provided by record keepers are effectiveness of retirement savings tools (82 per cent), focus on participants’ financial wellness (78 per cent) and quality of call centre support (73 per cent).
However, plan sponsors said they also want their record keeper to provide plan members with support such as financial education, assistance with financial planning and sophisticated financial products, including enhanced target-date funds and environmental, social and governance investment options that allow plan members to align their strategies with their values.
A third (32 per cent) of plan sponsors said more progress is required to improve target-date fund outcomes for plan members. And while more than a third (36 per cent) said they’re considering adding an ESG investment option to their plan, just 16 per cent currently offer this option.
Among plan sponsors, the survey also found the most important criteria when selecting a record keeper were cost/fees (87 per cent), scope of services/capabilities (85 per cent) and participant experience (71 per cent). Half (51 per cent) said they’ve worked with their record keeper for 10 years or more and 33 per cent said three to nine years. Only a small percentage of plan sponsors said they expect to change record keepers within the next three years.
“Going forward, record-keeper performance will increasingly be judged on the ability to meet these new demands and help plan participants achieve a state of financial wellness,” said Susan Gould, senior relationship manager at Coalition Greenwich and author of the report, in a press release.