ATLANTA - Even the professionals need a little help sometimes.
When AMVESCAP PLC, parent of defined contribution plan provider INVESCO Retirement Inc., enhanced its $242 million money purchase and 401(k) plans, it took the opportunity to review with its employees investment basics and asset allocation information "in light of recent stock market volatility."
"We treat our company like any other plan," said Hubert "Herky" Harris, chief of INVESCO Retirement. "We develop custom communications to explain investment changes and we provide the same sort of service."
A handout explaining changes in the fund lineup that took effect Dec. 3 was included with a booklet, "A Guide to Investing." Participants also could chat with representatives in the INVESCO Retirement Resource Center by telephone or log on to INVESCO's website.
AMVESCAP employees have a wide range of investment options with 29 funds managed by AIM Advisors Inc. or INVESCO Retirement Inc., including a company stock fund, Mr. Harris explained.
"We offer a plan with 29 investment options across a wide spectrum of risk choices and one is company stock," Mr. Harris explained. "There's nothing magic about it. Many of us in INVESCO before it merged with AMVESCAP had an ESOP and two years ago we no longer had an ESOP."
The employee stock ownership plan was frozen two years ago when the 401(k) plan was launched to replace it. This means participants cannot add to it but they can cash it out and invest in other options in the plan, Mr. Harris said. The company match is in cash and participants can invest only 10% of their account assets in company stock, he added.
In December, the AMVESCAP investment committee developed a new list of investment offerings. Seven funds were eliminated from the plan: the AIM Asian Growth Fund, AIM European Development Fund, AIM Global Income Fund, INVESCO Endeavor Fund, INVESCO European Fund, INVESCO Health Sciences Fund and INVESCO Select Income Fund.
Assets in these funds were mapped to the IRT Income Fund and AIM Global Health Care Fund, new investment options, as well as two existing investment options, INVESCO Growth & Income Fund and AIM International Equity Fund.
In all, AMVESCAP added eight funds. The other new funds are IRT 500 Index Fund, IRT Core Multiple Attribute Equity Fund, AIM Mid-Cap Equity Fund, IRT Small Cap Value Fund, AIM Small Cap Equity Fund, IRT International Equity Fund.
So, what's next? In January, INVESCO began offering investment advice and guidance to its client plan sponsors through Morningstar Associates LLC, Mr. Harris said. So far, AMVESCAP has not offered the service to participants in its plan but is expected to review the service, he said.