Survey of TPAs finds they're mostly happy

More than a quarter of third-party administrators are very satisfied with their primary retirement service provider, according to a study by Chatham Partners, though overall satisfaction ratings are down slightly.

Sixty-eight percent this year said they were either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" vs. 72 percent last year.

The second annual “TPA Satisfaction and Needs Assessment Study” surveyed 173 TPAs to gauge their attitudes and perceptions of leading retirement service providers, including their levels of satisfaction with providers’ TPA support services and technology.

The study found that TPAs who were the most satisfied with their service provider believe they are receiving great service on all fronts.

Key criteria for selecting a retirement service provider include areas that support TPAs’ service to their clients, including TPA website functionality, plan installation services and TPA service personnel. TPA compensation structure was not among the top criteria mentioned in the survey responses.

The survey found that the most frequently cited ways that retirement service providers can improve their service to TPAs are through providing better technological functionality, increasing communication and coverage for TPAs, and improving overall customer service.

The results of the study suggest that the providers selling the most business are making it the easiest for TPAs to do business with them, the report concluded. Though many retirement service providers offer strong product and services capabilities, TPA service is a critical component in creating strong TPA relationships. Providers who build a strong support network for TPAs will have a competitive advantage over firms solely focusing on product.

Chatham Partners provides customized market research.

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