Understanding Provider Structure Leads to More Satisfied Sponsors

Win / Loss analysis article


September 07, 2011 — Small-market 401(k) plan sponsors who have a clear understanding of the roles of their provider team members are more likely to be satisfied with their providers than those who do not understand the distinct responsibilities of each team member. —

The survey by Anova Consulting Group consisted of more than 2,000 small market plan sponsors; those with less than $10 million in plan assets. Thirty-four percent said that they did not clearly understand the roles of their service team members. Those who said they fully understand service team members’ roles and responsibilities reported an 83% overall level of satisfaction, compared with 63% overall satisfaction level reported by sponsors who were confused by service team roles.

Having well-defined roles and responsibilities also helps sponsor satisfaction levels by setting clear expectations. The two areas in the survey in which satisfaction ratings suffer most when sponsors don’t understand service team roles are “treats me as an important client” and “employee education materials and meetings.” Sponsors who clearly understand service team roles are 57% more likely to feel like they are treated as an important client and 55% more likely to be satisfied with their provider’s employee education offering.

An additional challenge in the small market is the prevalence of unbundled plans, in which the presence of TPAs can further complicate the service picture.