A number of big name income funds have fallen foul of the 110% of the index yield rule over recent times, prompting some to suggest the current rules are no longer appropriate.
The research, which will be conducted by YouGov, follows the gathering of feedback from the IA’s members in April.
The IA found that the industry is split on the matter. There was a near fifty-fifty divide between those who wanted to remain with the status quo, and those who believe change is needed.
The consumer research will ask investors and their advisers how they identify UK equity income funds and whether the current definition of the sector is helpful in supporting their objectives. will be completed in September, with a final decision on the sector's definition made by the end of 2016.
It is hoped the results will help the IA decide between the three options it drew up earlier this year.
The first option is no change to the sector definition, the second option is to replace the current 110% hurdle with a requirement to generate a yield higher than the FTSE All Share over 3 year rolling periods, and the third is to require specific disclosures in relation to income such as net yield, absolute net income generated over 5 years for £100 investment, income growth, total returns or volatility.
"The fundamental role of our sectors is to help investors and their advisers better understand the wide range of products that the asset management industry has to offer,” said Galina Dimitrova, director of capital markets. "Following extensive consultation with our membership, we felt that it was essential to engage with consumers before making any decision about the future of the sector.
"Alongside the consumer research, we encourage all users of the sectors to share their views with the Investment Association in the coming weeks," she added.
To share your opinion email firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August 2016.