The role of retirement plan adviser has evolved considerably in the past few years. Advisers are expected to provide assistance and guidance across all areas of the retirement plan— including with design and investments—and perhaps participant services as well.
Yet, while the job also varies from client to client, most relationships are, in part, founded
on an expectation that the adviser will help the plan sponsor with its due diligence: to select
and monitor the most appropriate investments and recordkeepers.
The 2017 PLANADVISER Retirement Plan Adviser Survey, our 11th, re-examines the factors
that advisers consider when selecting these key providers, and details the companies they
prefer. The next issue of PLANADVISER will include the second part of the survey, “Practice
Benchmarking,” which delves into how advisers structure and run their practice.
Each year, performance remains top of mind for advisers when selecting investment
managers. However, while it is often said that past performance does not indicate future
results, advisers place a large emphasis on it when evaluating investments. Asked what their
first criterion was when selecting an investment manager, 50.0% said it was how well the fund
did against its appropriate benchmark. The second criterion, cited by 37.0% of advisers, was the
average performance of a fund over the past five years. The third factor—again, performance-
2017 PLANADVISER Retirement Plan Adviser Survey
When choosing recordkeepers and investment
managers, advisers focus on their preferred firms