More Choices Offered, More Advice Required

May 15, 2001 ( - Participants in 401(k) plans with self-directed brokerage options are more likely to want assistance in choosing among investments, a survey of plan participants has found.

According to the results of American Express’ 2000 participant satisfaction survey of 546 defined contribution plan participants, those who have self-directed brokerage funds in their plans are:

  • 11% happier with their investment options,
  • 10% more likely to be satisfied with the plan overall,
  • but are also 10% more likely to want assistance in allocating their funds.

In addition, these participants are more likely to be satisfied with:

  • overall account access,
  • options available, and
  • the rate of return on their investments.

The survey also found that participants who have a self-directed brokerage option in their retirement plans are:

  • almost 20% more likely to want more information on specific investment options in their plans.
  • 12% less likely to want to learn more about 401(k) plan features,
  • more interested in the topic of investing strategies by 11%.