As part of an ongoing partnership initiative first announced in January 2020, DCIIA Retirement Research Center (RRC) and SPARK announced today preliminary findings of a joint industry survey on RFP volumes conducted earlier this month.
Changes in RFP volume are a key barometer of our industry’s health. SPARK and DCIIA RRC polled DC plan service providers regarding changes in their volumes of RFPs received (recordkeepers, DCIOs) or issued (consultants/RIA aggregators). Respondents were asked to report their RFP volumes in Q2 2019 and Q2 2020 to gauge the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on DC industry activity. There were 16 respondents to this first of several planned waves of data collection, including six recordkeepers, four DCIOs, and six consultants/RIA aggregators.
Participants in this RFP survey will receive exclusive access to additional data and insights and a detailed report showing how their volume compared to the industry averages overall and in various categories.
DCIIA and SPARK have left the survey open for any industry members that would like to compare their own volume with that of the broader industry. Those interested in being added to the survey should contact Warren Cormier, executive director of the DCIIA RRC, on email@example.com.
Select summary findings include:
Downward trend for recordkeeper volumes: The data show a consistent downward trend for recordkeepers with a 47% decline in RFP volume in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019. Recordkeepers experienced declines equally across markets and regions.
DCIOs report a jump: Interestingly, DCIOs showed substantial increases in RFP volumes received, averaging jumps of 453% in data reported by asset size cohorts. Of the four DCIOs reporting, three reported increases in excess of 600%.
Consultants/RIA aggregators send fewer RFPs: The survey data shows a clear decline of 50%–60% in RFPs sent. Declines were roughly equal in all geographical regions. Additionally, consultants/RIAs showed the biggest decline in the non-qualified market.
There were mixed views on the future of RFP volumes given the uncertain pandemic environment. Once the pandemic subsides, SPARK and DCIIA will conduct a second survey of plan sponsors to better understand their plans and goals moving forward.