Business and Technology Trends: Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

Report Summary

Business and Technology Trends: Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

Nancy Casbarro
Senior Principal
Steven Kaye
Head of Knowledge Management

August 2021 - Defined contribution plan providers are investing in portals for plan participants, sponsors, and advisors, as well as using analytics to improve margins, in order to drive down costs and attract new clients, while retaining existing clients and assets.

This report provides an overview of defined contribution retirement plan provider business and technology issues, data about the marketplace, and several examples of recent technology investments by insurers offering defined contribution retirement plans.


  • Recent market and financial trends
  • Active insurer landscape
  • Technology issues, priorities, and examples by functional area
  • Top technology priorities for 2021 and beyond

Key Points and Findings

Most technology investment goes toward case installation and distribution. Onboarding requires investments in digital capabilities, data and analytics, and core systems. Insurers are focusing on customer engagement.

Portal initiatives and communications continue to be vital. A focus on participant financial wellness across the board requires effective communications, reporting, and analytics. Plan sponsors are prioritizing improvements to participant contact center service and educational offerings.

Regulatory changes will continue to impact the market. Recent regulations have promoted the use of annuities in retirement plans and eased the formation of multi-employer and pooled employer plans.

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