Retirement plan sponsors are finding their plan providers to be more to their liking as time goes on, according to the Provider Loyalty Index released Wednesday by Chatham Partners, a research organization based in Waltham, Mass.
The Provider Loyalty Index, which is based on responses from 11,000 plan sponsors, measures the satisfaction of plan sponsors with the services and options of retirement plan providers.
This year, 81 percent of plan sponsors surveyed rated their overall satisfaction with their retirement service provider at the top two levels of a seven-point scale. That is an increase of 4 percentage points over 2015 for those saying they are satisfied or very satisfied with their plan providers.
Plan sponsors also are more likely to actively endorse their retirement service providers in 2016. Sixty-two percent say they would promote their plan providers, compared to 60 percent last year. The number of detractors dropped from 12 percent in 2015 to 9 percent this year.
Confidence levels have improved because retirement plan providers have improved their service delivery and plan sponsors are more confident in their providers’ efficacy in helping them meet their plan goals, says Chatham Partners.
How well plans meet the goals of the employees is an important factor in how many sponsors stick with their providers, according to the report. Providers that have the highest scores for retaining clients also have the highest scores for offering solutions to plan objectives and goals.
“It has become evident that increasing pressure to meet plan goals is changing the conversation about how providers are evaluated,” says Peter Starr, Chatham Partners’ CEO.