Skip to content

Defined contribution advisors are unique in the financial advisor community. See how their preferences and priorities further differ based on their DC assets under advisement (AUA) and type of DC compensation.

Download Your Reports

No part of any report may be reproduced or translated without written permission from LIMRA. Please contact Customer Service for further information.

Industry Issues

Advisors who sell defined contribution (DC) plans and services, and consult on DC investment menus, represent a unique subset of the financial advisor community. Even within this universe — advisors who “play” in the DC space — there are subtle distinctions among practices.

This research examines advisors based on their DC assets under advisement (AUA) and the way they are compensated for their DC business (fees and/or commissions). It looks at their preferences and requirements for investment platforms and services, what they look for in provider partners, and how they evaluate funds for their DC clients, offering important insights for providers who are looking to partner or deepen their relationships with this critical audience — which represents a “gateway” to DC plan sales and clients.

Key Findings

  • Interest in specialty investments and asset is relatively low.
  • Open-architecture platforms are most frequently used, but many advisors also utilize other platforms on occasion.
  • There is a place for group annuities (GAs) in DC plans.
  • Advisors highly value themselves, sponsors, and participants.
  • Advisors with very large DC practices rely less on provider tools.
  • “16” is the magic number when it comes to the ideal number of funds in a DC plan.

Related Research

How Can We Help You? Exploring Defined Contribution Advisor Service Offerings (2018)

Jul 6, 2018

Advisors who sell DC plans are unique. Learn more about the services they offer to plans and participants, and explore how your company can add value as a provider of choice.

U.S. Individual Annuity Market

Jul 1, 2020

Benchmark sales, persistency, analysis, and outlook for a range of annuity products, reported by distribution channels and market types. (Updated 7/1/20)

DC Plan Sponsors Actions, Attitudes, and Reactions in the Wake of the COVID-19 Crisis

Jun 30, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has had unprecedented impact across all social and economic sectors, including on defined contribution (DC) plans. This series looks at DC plan sponsors’ attitudes, reactions, observations, and expectations in the wake of the crisis.

DC Participants: Plan Actions in the Time of COVID-19

Jun 29, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has had unprecedented impact across all social and economic sectors, including on how DC participants manage their retirement plan investments. Flyer highlights some participant actions.

Impact of COVID-19 on Employers’ Approaches to Workplace Benefits

Jun 26, 2020

How is COVID-19 influencing employers’ plans for their insurance benefits programs?

Meet the Project Director

For more information, please contact