SEATTLE - When the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle decided this year to move to daily from quarterly valuation of its $51 million 401(a) money purchase plan, officials wanted also to update services and provide more complete investment education, said Patty Lutz, assistant benefits administrator.
The archdiocese, which comprises about 175 parishes and schools in western Washington, has a 401(a) for employer contributions and a $6 million 403(b) plan for employee contributions. In addition, dozens of individual parishes and schools sponsor 403(b) plans, many of which were started before the archdiocese started its 403(b) plan in 1987.
The new bundled provider for the 401(a) plan is Zurich Scudder Investments, Boston, which was hired in October. The conversion to a bundled plan was completed in March. Zurich Scudder offers eight investment options - up from six offered by former unbundled provider Automatic Data Processing Inc., Roseland, N.J. - as well as Internet access and a customized education campaign that launched in March.
The new lineup includes a set of three lifestyle funds, Scudder Pathway portfolios, which the plan did not have before, Ms. Lutz said. The other funds in the plan are Scudder Stable Value, Capital Growth and International funds; Domini Social Equity; and INVESCO Dynamics.
The education campaign consists of announcement letters, transition brochure, education kit and two weeks of after-work education meetings, said Mark Malusa, assistant vice president, Zurich Scudder. "They were interested in a lot of investment information to make sure employees were comfortable with the new investments," he said.
The theme is "Cultivating a More Secure Retirement." The illustrations of gardeners and fishermen along with quotes from the Bible, information about the plan and an asset allocation worksheet were designed to connect employees with their employer.
"We wanted to tie it into who we are," Ms. Lutz said.
At this point, the archdiocese has no plans to change the investment options in its centralized 403(b) plan.