Thought Leadership

The Pandemic Exposes Differences in DC Plan Sponsor Priorities, Needs and Actions

November 19, 2020
Author: Linda York

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the defined contribution (DC) retirement plan market, yet the effects and reactions of plan sponsors vary substantially by plan size. To quantify just what has changed, we conducted a quick-pulse survey in late August among plan sponsors.

Micro plan sponsors, those managing less than $5 million in DC assets, are in survival mode. These plan sponsors are trying to keep their plans steady through all of the disruption and are more concerned with underperforming investment options than with making preemptive changes or improvements to their plans. Large and Mega plan sponsors, those managing $100 million or more in DC assets, have a rosier outlook on the economy and are looking for ways to be more altruistic when it comes to their plans.

Now more than ever, plan providers, investment managers, advisors and consultants need to take the time to understand and appreciate the unique perspective of each client and tailor their approach and recommended solutions to individual needs. Our new Report Refresh: Retirement Planscape highlights these and other changes in plan sponsor mindsets and provides crucial insights for future business planning as the market adjusts to the new reality. Send us a note to learn more about this new report.


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Linda York
Linda York
Senior Vice President, Cogent Syndicated

Linda York is a senior vice president in the Cogent Syndicated division where she leads the Wealth Management Syndicated Research & Consulting practice. She has over 20 years of experience in financial services spanning responsibilities in finance, marketing and business strategy. Before joining Escalent, Linda was the practice director of Syndicated Research at Cogent Research, where she managed the product development and execution process for syndicated research projects and consulted with dozens of clients in the retail and institutional wealth management space. She earned an MBA in marketing from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mount Holyoke College. Linda is an avid equestrian and a two-time finisher of the Boston Marathon.