Will Participants Be Confused by the Fiduciary Rule?
A majority of retirement industry providers think that participants are likely to be confused by what results from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule, and have a decidedly mixed sense of what it will mean for participant experience design.
Almost 70% of respondents to the Broadridge “Survey of the Participant Experience in the New Fiduciary World
” strongly believe that retirement plan participants are likely to be confused by changes implemented by the industry as a result of the DOL rule (15% strongly disagree, and 16% have a neutral read). As for participant experience, a mere 30% strongly agree that the fiduciary rule will have a positive impact, while 41% strongly disagree with that premise. Twenty-nine percent weighed in with a neutral response.
Arguably the survey sampling might be a bit skewed. Broadridge in late October/early November (before the presidential election) conducted an online survey in conjunction with a company webinar and a conference sponsored by SPARK, noting that “between 56 and 97 firms across the retirement ecosystem responded to the questions,” representing all areas of the retirement industry.
Other survey findings:
- 59% agreed that the industry was making progress in improving participant experiences before the announcement of the DOL fiduciary rule.
- 93% strongly believe the new DOL regulations will result in major long-term shifts within the industry.
- 50% strongly agree that their firm was ready for the April 2017 deadline for BIC and participant communications (though 15% strongly disagreed here).
- 49% believe the DOL rule will not change their fiduciary status (22% weren’t sure and 29% said it would).