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View More Press Releases by National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Press release:

Plan Retention, Cybersecurity, Fee Compression Top Advisor Concerns

Issued by: National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Date: Oct. 8, 2019

Advisors looking for more information on HSAs, MEPs, and Financial Wellness

ARLINGTON, VA (October 8, 2019) – A poll of more than 500 of the nation’s leading retirement plan advisors provides remarkable insights on practice management, future trends, and so-called “hot” topics that are over-hyped.

While there was no shortage of big issues on which to focus, “client retention” loomed largest for the NAPA Summit Insider respondents – in fact, even larger this year than a year ago. Thirty-five percent of respondents ranked this issue as “very important.” This year’s strong second concern was cybersecurity, noted as a very important consideration by 35%. While fee compression was the second concern in 2018, in this year’s survey it fell to third place with 23% ranking this issue as “very important.”

The responses to the second annual NAPA Summit Insider came from more than 500 retirement plan advisors who attended the 2019 NAPA 401(k) Summit this past April.  The NAPA 401(k) Summit is the nation’s largest gathering of retirement plan-focused advisors.  

Other key findings include:

  • While the subject of multiple employer plans, or MEPs, has been a hot topic, advisors were cautiously optimistic.  A slim plurality (36%) said they were “looking to sell if open MEPs officially passes,” while nearly as many (34%) wanted to “learn more about asset pooling” to scale their practice.
  • Just over one in five (21%) opted for target-date funds with a “through” focus, while about half that many (12%) went with those with a glidepath focused on a “to” target-date strategy. Therefore, a vast majority (63%) recommended a situational approach of both “to” and “through,” depending on the plan/customer.
  • A plurality of advisors (37%) who were favoring passive investment strategies over active management were motivated by a desire to reduce plan costs. Just over one in five did so in response to plan sponsor demand (22%).
  • Topics advisors want more information about included fiduciary education (54%), financial wellness (49%), and health savings accounts (HSAs) (47%).
  • A new question in this year’s Insider found that roughly a third (35%) of this year’s respondents sold more than half of their new business through a partnership with a third party administrator, or TPA.  Nearly one-in-ten (8%) have relied on these relationships for 100% of their new business.

“The challenges outlined in this year’s Summit Insider are real, consistent and yet, dynamic- as is to be expected in an industry as complex and critical, as this one, said Nevin Adams, Chief Content Officer of the American Retirement Association, and Editor-in-Chief of NAPA-Net.

The 531 respondents to the 2019 Summit Insider poll were identified as retirement plan advisor attendees at the NAPA 401(k) Summit. They represented a wide range of experience levels and market focuses. They tended to be experienced; more than half had at least 15 years of experience, and half of that group had in excess of two decades of experience. Summit Insiders also served a wide range of target markets. Roughly a third (30%) focused on plans with less than $5 million in assets, but respondents ran the gamut in terms of their focus, up to and including those who served plans with more than $1 billion in plan assets.

To receive a  copy of the 2019 NAPA 401(k) Summit Insider or to connect with Chief Content Officer Nevin Adams about the Summit Insider’s findings, email Elisse.Rodriguez@lowecom.com.

The 2020 NAPA 401(k) Summit will be in Orlando, Florida April 26-28, 2020.  More information is at www.napasummit.org.

About NAPA
The National Association of Plan Advisors was created by and for retirement plan advisors. Membership also is open to other retirement industry professionals who support the interests of plan advisors. NAPA is the only advocacy group exclusively focused on the issues that matter to retirement plan advisors. It is part of the American Retirement Association (ARA). The American Retirement Association, based in the Washington, D.C. area, is a nonprofit professional organization established to empower retirement plan professionals who are dedicated to building a better retirement for Americans.

More information about NAPA is available at napa-net.org.

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View More Press Releases by National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]


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