More than 54 per cent of 401(k) plan sponsors say they prefer to keep their retired members’ assets in their plan, a notable increase from 26 per cent in 2019, according to a new survey by Cerulli Associates.

Looking specifically at pension plans intermediated by institutional investment consultants, 35 per cent of respondents said they actively seek to retain retiree assets and an additional 40 per cent said they prefer to retain retiree assets, but don’t actively seek to retain them.

Read: DC priorities differ between U.S. plan sponsors, members, providers

“Overall, growing interest from plan sponsors in making their plans more retiree-friendly creates an opportunity for asset managers and retirement plan providers to satisfy a nascent — albeit largely unmet — need for more effective, comprehensive in-plan decumulation solutions,” said Shawn O’Brien, associate director at Cerulli, in a press release.

“Innovations in in-plan decumulation will benefit mass market, middle market and certain mass affluent retirement investors that are often ignored by the traditional wealth management industry.”

Read: A look at DC pension trends in the U.S.