Fact-Based Trends from Cogent Reports™
Faced with increased pressure to demonstrate added value, DC advisors are offering financial wellness programs more frequently. Financial wellness programs, which are designed to educate employees about how to manage their personal finance challenges such as debt reduction, asset management, unexpected expenses as well as saving for retirement, are starting to soar in popularity.
Nearly four in ten (38%) DC advisors incorporate financial wellness into their offerings, a significant increase from the 29% who reported doing so in 2016. Emerging DC advisors (managing less than $10M in DC assets) and Independent producers are driving the overall increase in financial wellness program availability.
Perhaps even more strikingly, the way advisors are designing financial wellness programs appears to be shifting, with a higher proportion of DC producers using their firm’s proprietary model in lieu of a plan provider program. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64%) of DC advisors offering financial wellness programs rely on their advisory firm’s proprietary model, a significant increase from 44% reported in 2016. This trend not only signals a desire for advisory firms to differentiate themselves but also a potential missed opportunity on behalf of DC plan providers to create programs that meet the expectations of DC advisors and, ultimately, plan participants.