Fiduciary Fears Slow Advice Offerings

December 5, 2000 ( - Fiduciary worries are keeping most plan sponsors from offering investment advice, with 89% citing that reason in a new survey.

Cost (33%) and concern about advice providers’ objectivity (30%) were also cited.

Web Way
While the number of plans offering investment advice has risen only slightly, more than half of those are now using the Internet to do so, according to preliminary results from the BARRA RogersCasey/IOMA Annual Defined Contribution Survey 2000.

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While only 24% of DC plans currently offer investment advice, the number doing so online has more than doubled, with 51% now using the Internet as a delivery medium.  A year ago, 22% of plans offered advice, with just 26% doing so over the Internet.

On Their Mind

The survey also found that 33% of sponsor respondents are considering offering investment advice.  Among those plans with less than 250 participants, plans were even more likely to offer advice, with 34% now offering the service and 17% considering it.

Of plans offering advice, nearly three-fourths (74%) name the telephone as the advice vehicle of choice.  Seventy-two percent offer one-to-one personal consultations, while 53% provide written material.