Plan administrators are increasingly looking at ways to deal with costs, oncoming regularly changes the different product offerings now available to them. With that context, SunGard has been looking at some trends that are affecting both administrators and plan sponsors.

As for the adviser community, one of the trends is the larger role they play in an individuals’ retirement planning. As a result administrators will likely by investing in data, analytics and productivity tools to help advisers enhance service to participants.

“In the not too distant future, every retirement plan will have some type of adviser attached to it,” says Greg Clark, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Omni Retirement business within SunGard. “That means that historically those administrators that did administration on retirement plans, they had reporting and tools to support those advisers. As advisers have moved up market, providers are required to provide more analytics, data and the ability to provide views across an adviser book of business and the ability to do reporting out to the advisers.”

He adds that administrators understand that to grow their business they have to work with advisers and spend the money to provide these services to them.

Much of this adds layers of costs for providers – another identified trend. Clark says many of them are looking at alternative hosting solutions or partnering with companies that provide data centers and offer scale and provide service application models to those administrators.

Mike Rogalski, president, SunGard’s wealth & retirement administration business adds that “retirement plan administrators and recordkeepers need improved efficiency, better access to information, and innovation to help grow the business rather than just sustain the business. As a result, many are looking to business process outsourcing and integrated compliance solutions to help streamline operations, and adviser tools to help participants meet their retirement income goals.”

Some of the other trends within the sector include:

  • Retirement plan administrators will look to provide standardized fiduciary, compliance and reporting solutions to help reduce the cost of compliance and help employers meet their increased responsibilities amid continued regulatory change,
  • Providers are placing a higher priority on offering retirement readiness support, including income projection tools and guaranteed income products,
  • As baby boomers retire, recordkeepers and advisors will seek growth through innovation by engaging younger participants via mobile and social media channels, while also leveraging these channels to reach smaller and micro markets; and
  • Larger retirement plan providers will look globally to achieve growth in new markets such as Latin America, Asia and the Middle East

Joel Kranc is Director of Kranc Communications, focusing on business communications, content delivery and marketing strategies. He has written and worked in the retirement and institutional investment space for 17 years covering North American markets, large institutional pensions and the adviser community. 


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