The IMA expects to announce the results of its Absolute Return sector review by the end of February.
It had hoped to publish the results of the review by the end of 2012, but this will now be delayed until Q1, 2013.
The sector review was originally intended to conclude by the end of 2011, but was subsequently delayed until June this year and has now been put back into next year.
It is understood further consultation could take place with consumers before the IMA reaches a final decision on the sector.
Daniel Godfrey, chief executive of the Investment Management Association, said:
"I am aware that we had hoped to have clarity on the future shape of the Absolute Return sector by the end of 2012.
"This is an important issue for consumers and, having only taken over as chief executive this month, I want to consider all the evidence and all the options thoroughly before we take any final decision.
"A great deal of research and work has already been done and the input from the industry has been excellent. I expect that we will be in a position to announce the conclusion of our review by the end of February."
The IMA put forward three proposals to member groups on how to divide up the Absolute Return sector.
It consulted on whether the sector should be divided up according to cash benchmark, strategy, or whether to leave the funds grouped together but allow investors to filter for specific criteria on its website.
The Absolute Return sector, created in April 2008, has faced criticism over the number of different strategies included, making meaningful comparisons difficult for investors.
Has been cold-calling consumers
New shares admitted to London Stock Exchange
Slow and steady growth
Missed funding target by £240,000