NEW YORK – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Dec. 10 2021–
Voya Investment Management (IM), the asset management division of Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), today announced the results of the third edition of its survey of plan sponsors and contribution specialists Defined (DC) market-driven pension plans. . The survey was developed to help DC Specialists better understand the needs of their customers and prospects and underscores Voya’s commitment to serving the DC space.
The survey, conducted in 2021 between mid-February and early March, found that DC sponsors and specialists continue to share their perspectives on many aspects of pension support and service, but where differences exist, they indicate that DC specialists feel their services add more value than plan sponsors recognize – highlighting an opportunity for CD specialists to better demonstrate their value.
“Sponsors told us they were looking for specialists for a wide range of advice and wanted higher levels of expertise, which again underscores the need for specialists to make sponsors aware of everything. what they can do, ”said Jake Tuzza, Intermediate Distribution Manager, Voya IM.
A change noted in this year’s survey found that sponsors are paying more attention to plan design issues, for example, advice on plan design and functionality is the second most important area of DC specialist support. frequently cited. The 2021 survey found that sponsors recognized that DC Specialists help keep plan costs reasonable (93%) and that DC Specialist compensation is commensurate with the support provided (85%). Equally encouraging, sponsors are more likely to say they understand the DC specialist’s compensation and fee information (73%).
“Based on the results of this survey, there are things specialists can do that demonstrate their value,” said Tuzza. “For example, express your worth by making an inventory of the services you provide to each sponsor and rate yourself how well your services are focused on their priorities. We also recommend integrating ESG (environment, social and governance) in the investment selection process. We expect to see increased demand for ESG strategies, especially as younger employees make up a larger percentage of plan members. “
The survey also looked at a number of other issues impacting sponsors and specialists, including:
Impact of COVID-19
The most common impact of COVID on pension plans has been an increase in hardship withdrawals. Only one in five sponsors saw no impact, and many noted the need for a “post-COVID realignment” to achieve better outcomes for plan members and plans. COVID amplified trends that were already underway, including increased attention to designing plans, reviewing / renewing service offerings, and focusing on the digital experience.
Use of funds at maturity
Many industry professionals view Target Date Funds (TDSs) as “fundamental” parts of a retirement plan and less as a top concern. Still, mid-sized plans have dramatically increased their TDF usage since 2018, from 56% to 74%, in line with larger plans. Smaller plans are now self-contained with usage levels below around 53%. In total, nearly six in 10 sponsors include TDF in their plans, up slightly from 2018. Overall, four in 10 sponsors whose plans do not currently offer TDF, two in five say that they would prefer to include them, compared to one in three in 2018 and one in four in 2016.
A majority of promoters and DC specialists agree that the SECURE Act encouraged plans to focus on retirement income. Providing a retirement income solution can complement financial wellness programs, such as online tools and calculators, retirement income planning education, and investing education. Although the majority of promoters plan to offer retirement income options, such as guaranteed income for life, these options are not yet widely available.
Brookmark Research has assisted Voya IM in the development, execution and analysis of surveys of plan sponsors and DC specialists. An online methodology was used to conduct the study, similar to that of 2018 and 2016. The surveys of plan sponsors and DC specialists were very similar, with only minor differences in the language used. The interviews lasted approximately 17 minutes.
Voya IM repeated its online survey of pension plan sponsors and CD specialists focused on the pension market to:
- Identify the changing priorities and service needs of plan sponsors;
- Help DC specialists align their service offerings with the priorities of plan sponsors’ clients and prospects; and
- Identify opportunities as they arise and offer suggestions to DC specialists to help them resolve them.
There are some pieces of evidence that distinguish segments of plan sponsors based on plan size. The study divided sponsors into three segments: plans worth $ 1 million to less than $ 5 million; plans with $ 5 million to less than $ 25 million; and plans with over $ 25 million. In other pieces, the study distinguishes between “high concentration” CD specialists, whose practices focus on plan sponsor clients, and “emerging” CD specialists, for whom plan sponsors. plan represent a smaller proportion of business.
About Voya Investment Management
A leading and active asset management company, Voya Investment Management manages, as of September 30, 2021, more than $ 230 billion for affiliated and external institutions as well as individual investors. With over 40 years of history in asset management, Voya Investment Management has the experience and resources to provide its clients with investment solutions with a focus on equities, fixed income and multi-asset strategies and solutions. Voya Investment Management was named in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 as “Best Places to Work” by Pensions and investments magazine. For more information visit voyainvestments.com. Follow Voya Investment Management on Twitter @VoyaInvestments .
VOYA – IM
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SOURCE: Voya Financial, Inc.
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PUB: 12/10/2021 9:34 am / DISC: 12/10/2021 9:34 am