Released today, the annual 529 Distribution Analysis Report provides actionable guidance on how to increase usage of 529 products and college financial planning in the adviser-sold, employer-sold and direct-sold channels. This report sheds light on education savings distribution by incorporating data from a new deep, proprietary survey of financial advisers fielded in November 2020. The report also draws on insights from interviews with both advisers, financial professionals and broker-dealer home-office product executives who support and lead fleets of financial advisers.
Incorporated into the report is more extensive analysis that compares present year results to prior year’s adviser surveys fielded through 2009. This historic perspective allows us to analyze whether advisers are “getting the message” and thus better determine what advisers require to increase usage from a legislative, product, marketing and distribution perspective. Additionally, the proprietary survey analyzes new industry trends such as the CARES Act, SECURE Act, COVID-19 impact, Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Regulation Best Interest, ESG investment options, and potential legislation in the pipeline, while expanding analysis of longer term opportunities such as the employer channel, fee based advisory, and investment line-up enhancements in demand. The final section examines the key components of a strategic distribution roadmap to initiate and re-engage current distribution channels and to expand into new channels.
–By Paul Curley, Director of Savings Research at ISS Market Intelligence