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2018 DC Participant Insight Series: Educating Defined Contribution Participants

Educating Defined Contribution Plan Participants addresses the financial literacy of DC plan participants.  Which financial and investing terms do they understand?  How does their understanding impact communications with advisors and providers?

Although most DC participants consider themselves to be fairly knowledgeable about investments, actual discussions with plan participants often lead to different conclusions. In this report, Spectrem actually tests the knowledge these investors have regarding various investment products.

Participants' knowledge (or lack thereof) is then compared to their perceived knowledge level as well as the actual investments they own. Literacy topics include: mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, hedge funds, annuities and other familiar products, as wells as terminology such as alpha, beta, growth, dividend and others.

This research will help plan providers to assess their participant education programs and allow them to develop programs that will ensure that advisors and providers are clearly identifying and educating participants regarding their investment choices.