2023 PIMCO US Defined Contribution Consulting Study

Seeking to help consultants, advisors and plan sponsors understand evolving views and current trends within the DC marketplace.

Understanding the New Defined Contribution Landscape

In its 17th year, the PIMCO US Defined Contribution Consulting Study seeks to help consultants, advisors and plan sponsors understand the breadth of views and consulting services available within the defined contribution (DC) marketplace.

  • 36 Institutional Consultant and Aggregator Firms*

  • 25,000 Clients Served

  • DC Assets in Excess of $7.3 Trillion

All responses were collected from January 17, 2023 through March 22, 2023.

QDIA Option with the Most Growth

Aggregators expect to see the most growth in dual-QDIA options, while Institutional Consultants split


50% 22%

Target date

25% 26%

Target date with embedded guarantee

25% 22%

Institutional Consultant (n=27) Aggregator (n=8)

17. Which category do you expect to grow the most in the next three years? Select one. –Institutional Consultant

Recommended Actions to Retain Assets in the Plan

Educating participants and partial distributions are top recommended actions

Add retirement education/tool

100% 85%

Allow distribution flexibility (e.g., partial and installment payments)

86% 89%

Allow consolidation of non-plan assets (e.g., IRA roll-in)

86% 52%

Offer personalized advice/investment experience

71% 37%

Communicate value of staying in plan (e.g., update separation package to explain value of…

43% 78%

Add retiree-focused investment options

43% 67%

Institutional Consultant (n=27) Aggregator (n=7)

38. Which actions do you recommend plan sponsors take to encourage retirees to retain their assets in the plan? Select all that apply.

Perspective on Managed Accounts

While consultants believe personalization adds value, only 11% believe participants add sufficient personal data in managed account tools

Similar to age, recordkeeping systems contain additional participant data that can help personalize portfolios without requiring the costs and engagement associated with ongoing participant engagement

11% 44% 30% 11% 4%

Participants regularly add and keep current personal data in managed account tools

0% 11% 19% 41% 30%

Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree

10. Regarding personalization, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? –Institutional Consultants (n=27)

Key Findings

Download PIMCO’s DC Consulting Study key findings report for the latest trends and supporting data.


This material contains opinions of survey respondents as of the date noted and not necessarily those of PIMCO. Such opinions are subject to change without notice and may not have been updated to reflect real time market developments. The results have been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product.

All investments contain risk and may lose value. Investors should consult their investment professional prior to making an investment decision.