Survey of the Retirement Landscape - Key Findings

Voya Investment Management in December 2018 refreshed its online survey of retirement plan sponsors and financial advisors focused on the retirement plan market. The original survey in 2016 was conducted to better understand the product, service and support preferences of plan sponsors, as well as to identify unmet needs and emerging opportunities. The study surveyed advisors who support retirement plans, to provide insight into how sponsor and advisor perceptions align.

To get perspective on sponsor needs, the survey asked sponsors about the most important issues for the next two years, challenges they face and the kinds of services they want from advisors.

The 2018 survey updates those findings and explores a few new areas. Two years on, we find that many of the headline concerns remain the same, though some of the underlying details have changed. Perceptions on a few key issues have evolved and several new issues have arisen, most notably an emerging concern for financial wellness. Key findings include:

  • Two years ago, advisors were far less sanguine than sponsors about plan participants’ retirement readiness. Those views have begun to converge, with advisors less pessimistic and sponsors less optimistic. Both advisors and sponsors see the need to improve retirement outcomes for plan participants
  • In tandem with evolving views of retirement readiness, sponsors are beginning to see participant education as an aspect of financial wellness
  • Sponsors are looking for expert guidance on a broader range of issues than two years ago, including alternative plan structures, cybersecurity, financial wellness and special needs caregivers
  • Sponsors still are behind the curve in using risk-assessment tools to gauge the suitability of investments. They will need advisors to fill this gap
  • Sponsors do not always recognize the services advisors provide, potentially leading to confusion about what sponsors get for the fees they pay. Advisors need to communicate their added value more effectively

Read the full research report.