Lincoln Financial Provides Predictions on Retirement Industry

February 2, 2012 ( – Fee disclosure regulations, in-plan guarantees, target-date strategies and retirement planning optimism will significantly impact the retirement plans industry in 2012, predicts Chuck Cornelio, president of Lincoln Financial's Retirement Plan Services.  

By Tara Cantore | February 02, 2012
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“As we enter 2012, we see greater interest in employer-sponsored retirement plan savings and investment options that offset volatility, include guarantees and offer flexibility,” said Cornelio. “In this new era of fee disclosure, plan providers are increasing their emphasis on demonstrating the value of their services. We are also finding that our optimistic approach to motivating savers to take actions that lead to better outcomes is appealing to plan sponsors and participants alike. People are tired of being scared or berated into saving and many are simply overwhelmed by the thought of even getting started.”

Fee Disclosure  

According to Cornelio, fee disclosure regulation continues to be a topic at the forefront for the industry. Retirement plan providers and advisers need to clearly articulate the value they bring to participants and plan sponsors through proof points and quantitative measurements. By increasing transparency, fee disclosure provides another way for providers to help clients meet their fiduciary responsibilities.

“We believe that transparency is a good thing,” said Cornelio. “It’s one of the best ways to demystify the real and perceived costs associated with your plan. Education through disclosure can also help empower participants with additional information to motivate them to make better investment and saving decisions that will enhance retirement readiness.”

In-Plan Guarantees  

In-plan guarantees provide a compelling reason for consumers to consider options available in their employer-sponsored plans that offer financial protection coupled with growth potential. The combination of a prolonged economic crisis, market volatility, low-interest rate environment and increased dependency on defined contribution plans to provide retirement security has fostered an environment where guaranteed income, downside market protection and enhanced retirement readiness tools are increasingly essential offerings for retirement plan providers. 

“Insurance companies are uniquely proficient in managing risk,” said Cornelio, “and are now leveraging their expertise with these types of guarantees and turning them into viable and desirable solutions in the retirement plan landscape.” 

Guaranteed withdrawal benefits, lifetime income options and principal protection strategies will command more attention as sponsors and participants will look to these solutions to meet retirement planning goals.