TRO Decisions Bypass Consultants

March 27, 2003 ( - Plan sponsors are slowly warming to the benefits of total retirement outsourcing - but they don't appear to be relying on consultants to help evaluate those decisions.

Nearly half (49.8%) say they use a consultant for their retirement plan searches, but only 11% did so for total retirement outsourcing, according to a recent study of some 307 plan sponsors by PLANSPONSOR and MassMutual Retirement Services.

Consultant Picks

Plan sponsor respondents were much more likely to use a consultant in searching for a DC recordkeeper (63%) or DB investment manager (54.8%). Just one in five used a consultant in their pursuit of a DB administration provider.

Of those who did use a consultant, most (56.8%) said they did so because they preferred to have a separate due diligence process, while 55.5% said they didn’t have enough expertise in-house to conduct the search. More than a quarter (29.5%) said they had no time to conduct the search themselves, while 6.2% said their board requires them to use a consultant.

Most (57.5%) were quite satisfied with their consultant, while 27.4% were extremely satisfied, and 8.9% were somewhat satisfied.

The survey data is online at