2012 TRO Buyer's Guide

Inside the Guide

Published in PLANSPONSOR July 2012

As in previous years, the accompanying table is designed to give a sense of the major TRO providers, their market focus and range of capabilities. To convey their breadth and depth of services, we have asked providers for information about the size and composition of their TRO business, number of clients added last year and how much of their total business is represented by TRO relationships.

As in past years, we include a number of “service features,” to add an element of “how” to the “what.” At the suggestion of several providers, we once again have highlighted some elements as “integrated” deliverables, as well as the notion of a “single” relationship team—reinforcing the importance of integrated service delivery within these TRO offerings.

As evidenced by the accompanying table, providers across the spectrum have developed relationships with external firms and, in some cases, established formal partnerships to deliver those services. Those relationships have been identified as “I” (capabilities delivered internally/directly by the provider), “P” (capabilities delivered in conjunction with a formal partnership) and “E” (capabilities delivered external to the firm’s “core” offerings).

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PLANSPONSOR’s annual TRO Buyer’s Guide questionnaire was included as a subset of the questions for the DC Recordkeeping Survey (see PLANSPONSOR, June 2012), distributed to providers of full-service and unbundled recordkeeping for defined contribution (DC) plans; we received 31 complete responses this year from providers of TRO services. 

The questionnaire, which asked for information pertaining to each provider’s TRO assets, number of plans and product and service capabilities, was available for providers to complete online between March and late April. All data are as of December 31, 2011.

Although the table that follows provides a wealth of information, it contains only a small portion of each provider’s responses to the survey. To purchase an Excel spreadsheet containing the full data set of responses from all 31 TRO providers, including historical information, please contact Michelle Judkins at mjudkins­ Cost: $1,500.


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Time was when a "bundled" solution could not be delivered efficiently or effectively unless all the parts came from the same entity—no more. This bundled concept has, for the last several years, been presented under the banner of Total Retirement Outsourcing, or TRO. The Buyer’s Guide presents the providers of TRO services—which types and sizes of clients they service, and products offered.