Market expansion in 2021 is a priority among Canada’s defined contribution pension consultants, according to a new survey by PIMCO Canada.

The inaugural survey, conducted across 12 major DC consulting and advisory firms that serve roughly 2,500 Canadian plan sponsor clients, found up-market expansion and down-market expansion in 2021 were the top strategic priorities among respondents, each at 45 per cent. These were followed by increased staffing, enhanced outsourced chief investment officer capabilities and expanded custom investment solutions capability, each at 36 per cent.

Read: 64% of DC plan sponsors looking to improve financial wellness programs: survey

Respondents said their fastest-growing services include evaluating and designing financial wellness programs, governance reviews and manager selecting and monitoring, each at 55 per cent. These were followed by discretionary oversight of investment selection and monitoring, as well as investment menu design, each at 27 per cent.

And respondents said among their top plan sponsor clients, priorities include improving financial wellness programs and improving participant retirement education, each at 64 per cent.