Investment menus and performance are a big focus for 401(k) plan sponsors as they look to boost employees' retirement readiness, according to Fidelity Investments' Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey.
Nearly 3 in 4 plan sponsors (74%) made changes to their investment menus in the past two years, with 28% increasing the number of investment options and 23% replacing an underperforming fund.
"In our conversations with plan sponsors and advisers, investment performance is now top-of-mind given the potential for continued market volatility," said Elizabeth Pathe, senior vice president and head of DCIO sales at Fidelity Institutional Asset Management, in a news release.
Fidelity sees the role of plan advisers growing as plan sponsors look to improve participant outcomes. More than half of plan sponsors (56%) said performance of plan investments was one of the ways advisers can underscore their value.
"Plan sponsors are looking for guidance and reassurance during this difficult time, and we continue to see plan advisors playing an important role in helping companies identify ways to improve their retirement plans and help their employees strengthen their financial well-being," Ms. Pathe said.
The majority of plan sponsors, 92%, reported working with plan advisers, with 70% saying they were satisfied with their relationships.
The survey found that plan sponsors working with advisers made constructive plan design changes at a higher rate than those without advisers, including increasing the auto-enrollment deferral rate (7% higher), adding a Roth contribution option (6% higher), and adding auto escalation (4% higher).
Fidelity surveyed 1,500 plan sponsors that use a variety of record keepers from Feb. 2 to Feb. 24.