Report

U.S. Defined Contribution Distribution 2020

Adapting to Changes in the Regulatory Environment

Interpret, Innovate, Expand

  • Evaluate the implications for retirement plan providers and considerations for DC product development as a result of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act and recent regulatory guidance from the Department of Labor
  • Review comprehensive sizing of the DC market in the U.S. by market segment and plan size
  • Analyze product development and distribution trends, challenges, and opportunities in the DCIO asset manager, CIT provider, and target-date fund manager spaces
  • Explore new data covering the DC intermediary landscape, which draws findings from advisors working across a wide range of plan asset segments

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US Defined Contribution Distribution 2020 Detail

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Drew O'Hearn, CFP

Drew O'Hearn, CFP

Director, Account Management

Summary

Explore product development and distribution trends in the defined contribution (DC) market. This report contains updated DC market sizing by plan type and market segment, along with findings from proprietary surveys of DCIO asset managers, target-date managers, CIT providers, and DC plan intermediaries.

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A Note from the Author

How Will Regulation Drive Market Changes?

Shawn O'Brien, CFA

Shawn O'Brien, CFA

Senior Analyst

Bio →

Shawn O'Brien, CFA

Shawn O'Brien, CFA

Senior Analyst

As a senior analyst, Shawn is responsible for covering the retirement markets space, focusing specifically on defined contribution (DC) plans, the IRA market, and asset managers’ DCIO strategies. He contributes to The Cerulli Report and The Cerulli Edge series.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Shawn worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, where he co-authored case studies alongside professors focusing on investment management for individual and institutional investors, and innovations in financial technology. Prior to that, he worked in the Currency Management group at State Street Global Markets, employing currency overlay strategies for large asset managers and asset owners.

Full biography here.

56% of defined contribution investment-only (DCIO) asset managers expect to increase their defined contribution (DC)-focused environmental, social, and governance (ESG) marketing and distribution efforts during the next 12 months. Yet, recent regulation has contributed to a lack of adoption by DC plans.

Nearly half (48%) of DCIO asset managers surveyed by Cerulli consider the DOL’s proposal in June 2020 one of the most significant barriers to adoption of ESG products in DC plan. On top of these regulatory headwinds, retirement plan providers suggest confusion related to ESG investing has also contributed to a lack of adoption by DC plans. In the absence of universally accepted definitions and terminology, providers should consider taking a step back to address the fundamentals of ESG investing in order to facilitate more nuanced discussions with their DC clients.

Learn more in The Cerulli Report—Defined Contribution Distribution 2020: Adapting to Changes in the Regulatory Environment.

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