Press Release

Agility Rises to the Forefront for Retirement Benefits Consulting

Releasing the Ratings of the top Retirement Consulting Firms

New York, NY – March 6, 2019 – New research from ALM’s Consulting Intelligence division, formerly known as Kennedy Consulting, reports that the consumerization of employee benefits has raised workforce expectations for benefits services that educate and empower the employee, thus driving demand for more dynamic retirement benefits consulting service offerings.

“Retirement benefits are in a continual state of flux, with new challenges presenting every day in the form of regulatory change, market volatility, and employee demand,” said Matthew Merker, Senior Analyst, Management Consulting Research at ALM Intelligence. “Consequently, employers continue to search for new and innovative ways to delight existing employees and utilize rewards as an attraction and retention tool while remaining on sound financial footing.”

ALM Intelligence explores demand drivers and how consulting firms are modernizing service offerings in response, including:

  • Improved ability to scale from discrete retirement benefits advisory up to holistic total rewards consulting, which includes health, compensation, and employee experience
  • Integrating financial well-being services into retirement benefits service offerings
  • Leveraging greater understanding of client needs from a retirement services provider and employer perspective to guide strategy and innovation

Adaptation and agility are increasingly taking hold as a priority for clients in benefit plan design. Vanguard Leaders are raising the bar by building in that agility through forecasting, environmental analysis, and benchmarking techniques, standing out in a highly competitive market against those treating retirement benefits consulting as ‘business as usual’. Further, shifting positions in breadth on the Vanguard are evident, particularly for the Vanguard Challengers with narrower service offerings, due to the push for total rewards capability offerings that break down the stovepipes of rewards management to create holistic, cost-effective solutions.

Providers covered in the report include Aon, Barnett Waddingham, Buck, Capita Employee Solutions, Cavanaugh Macdonald, Deloitte, EY, Gabriel Roeder Smith, Grant Thornton, Hymans Robertson, JLT Employee Benefits, Korn Ferry, KPMG, Lockton Benefit Group, Mercer, Milliman, Morneau Shepell, PwC, Russell Investments, The Segal Group, Willis Towers Watson, and XPS Pensions Group (formerly Xafinity).

ALM’s Vanguard research series assesses firms in terms of their relative ability to create impact for their clients. In addition to its overall rating assessments of consulting providers’ depth and breadth of capabilities and best-in-class provider designations, this series includes detailed capability evaluations for each covered provider as well as a qualitative analysis of their consulting organization, approach, and service delivery model.

For more information or to obtain the full version of The ALM Vanguard: Retirement Benefits Consulting, visit the ALM Intelligence website:

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