If your company provides retirement plan participants with independent financial advice, a new study from GDC Research and Practical Perspectives could give you cause for concern.

The study finds that advisers are challenged by engaging with investors who are retired or almost retired. They are also divided as to the best way to generate sustainable income, according to the report. Specifically, many advisers lack the skills to address basic issues like setting realistic expectations or educating investors on what retirement really involves. While most advisers are confident in their abilities to serve retirees, they have not coalesced around a common strategy for generating retirement income and many lack capabilities to deal with common topics such as Social Security, Medicare or elder care.

“The delivery of retirement income is full of contradictions,” says Howard Schneider, president of Practical Perspectives and co-author of the report. “It is a critical and growing element of most adviser practices today and many have developed some processes and tools to serve these types of clients. Yet advisers still need help with fundamental elements of retirement income support, especially with how to identify prospective clients and interact with them on key topics.”

Dennis Gallant, president of GDC Research, and another co-author added: “Advisers working with retirement income clients are most concerned with how economic uncertainty, rising taxes, and the potential for increased inflation can undermine a plan. Advisers are not as concerned with the possibility of rising interest rates and the threat this could pose to retirement income portfolios. While they are open to new solutions, most advisers are generally satisfied with the range of products available to help them serve retirement income clients.”

The report is part of an ongoing series from the authors exploring how advisers can meet the growing demand for retirement income.

Lee Conrad is Managing Editor of Bank Investment Consultant, a SourceMedia publication.

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