Most pension plan officials don't expect to make changes this year, according to a new survey from Hewitt Associates. Of the 227 pension executives surveyed, 95% said they are very unlikely to terminate their plans, confirmed spokeswoman Maurissa Kanter. Only 15% said they are very likely to close participation to new employees; only 6% said they are very likely to freeze accruals; and just 5% are very likely to change the design of their pension plans.
The top three reasons respondents gave for closing participation, freezing accrual or terminating plans are cost/volatility (82%), cost/amount (64%), and the plan not being sufficiently valued or appreciated by employees (31%).
The three changes most likely to be made to defined contribution plans in 2006 are adding automatic enrollment, automatic rebalancing and third-party investment advice services.