Written By: Rui Yao, Weipeng Wu, and Cody Mendenhall
As DC plans become more popular than DB plans, American workers are increasingly responsible for their retirement savings. Because retirement plan participants’ portfolio allocation is constrained by the available funds in the plan, the construction of a plan’s investment menu has become extremely important. No research has evaluated fund selection in retirement plans or compared plans involving an advisor with self-directed plans. To fill this research gap, this study employs cross-sectional, nationwide data that include 5,570 retirement plans with 100 or more participants in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Results show that in most cases, using advisors is not related to plan performance. Plan sponsors should require advisors to periodically evaluate the performance of plans under their management using objective measures.