Will Participants Be Confused by the Fiduciary Rule?

By ASPPA Net Staff • January 03, 2017 • 0 Comments
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).