Retirement Plans Off Autopilot


EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

New funding rules for pensions and increased scrutiny of retirement plan operations are forcing companies to take more active roles in administering their retirement plans in 2008, according to a survey of 190 medium and large U.S. companies by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources services company.

Among companies that offer retirement plans, 63% said they were very likely to perform funding and accounting projections; 30% plan to perform an asset liability study; and 29% are very likely to assess the risks to their pension plans based on current strategies. Stressing employee accountability is expected to be a high priority of 56% of employers, while 50% said they would focus on helping employees better understand their retirement benefits.

Employers are also making greater use of automated features in 401(k) plans�44% offer automatic enrollment compared with 36% in 2007. Of those companies that offer automatic enrollment, 72% plan to convert their default investment fund to a premixed portfolio fund, including target-date funds.

Source: Hewitt Associates, www.hewitt.com .

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