Investors seem less worried than Congress when it comes to the opacity of management fees, according to Spectrem Group's latest "Retirement Market Insights" report.

As of May, while 29% of advisers' clients said fees were neither open nor transparent, 43% of clients said their adviser's fee structure was very clear to them. The same number said they do not think Congress should meddle with the client-adviser relationship, while 33% felt otherwise. However, investors are split on whether legislation is needed to hold advisers to a fiduciary standard: 42% of investors support legislation that forces advisers to act in their best interests; 40% do not.

"The perception in the marketplace is that people don't get good explanations, but investors themselves think they do, so that's a positive," said Cathy McBreen, managing director at Spectrem, of Chicago, and author of the report. "There's a little disagreement as to whether they truly understand, but at least they feel they do."

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