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Chatham Releases TPA Benchmarking Study

WALTHAM, MA, October 8, 2013 -- Chatham Partners recently concluded its 2nd annual TPA Satisfaction and Needs Assessment Study; surveying 173 TPAs and gathering their opinions of leading retirement service providers. The study assessed TPAs' attitudes and perceptions of leading retirement service providers, including their levels of satisfaction with providers' TPA support services, personnel, technology, product and service offering, and overall impressions. Approximately 75% of the respondents are service-only TPAs, and 25% are producing TPAs.

Key findings include:

  • More than two-thirds of TPAs (68%) are very satisfied with their primary retirement service provider ('7' or '6' on a 7-point scale).
  • Year-to-year overall satisfaction ratings are relatively flat.

  • Service is a major component of the TPA and retirement service provider relationship. TPA support services and TPA service personnel are the most highly correlated attributes associated with a TPA's satisfaction with a retirement service provider.

  • A comparison of TPAs who are satisfied with their service provider to those who are not suggests that service is the differentiating factor. TPAs that are highly satisfied with the retirement service provider give considerably stronger scores for attributes pertaining to TPA support personnel and support services catered to the TPA channel, e.g. personnel, distribution services, plan installation services, and TPA website functionality.
  • Key criteria for selecting a retirement service provider include areas that support TPAs' service to their clients, e.g. TPA website functionality, plan installation services, and TPA service personnel. Interestingly, TPA compensation structure was not among the top mentioned criteria.

  • 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 this study suggest that the providers selling the most business are making it the easiest for TPAs to do business with them. 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.

For more information please call Joshua Dietch at (781) 314-0610 or email him at jdietch@chathampartners.net.

About Chatham Partners

Chatham Partners provides customized market research, including win/loss sales analysis and client satisfaction studies, multi-client research studies, and strategy consulting services that help businesses understand the explicit, implicit, and latent needs of clients and prospects. Our fact-based analysis and recommendations enable organizations to improve sales processes, client service/retention, product/service offerings, and market perceptions. (www.chathampartners.com).

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