CHICAGO -- Participants in employer-sponsored defined contribution plans are not afraid their accounts will disappear at the end of the century because of computer difficulties, according to a recent nationwide survey of plan participants.
"Y2K is seen as a short-term situation," said David Wray, president of the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America. The council sponsored the survey, which queried 450 people to determine their levels of concern about the year 2000 computer changeover.
The result: 91.2% were not concerned or only moderately concerned; 7.4% were very concerned; and the remainder had no opinion.
Nearly 80% of respondents said Y2K has not prompted them to change their participation in the plan; 5% said they might stop or reduce their contributions to the plan; 6.1% said they might even increase their contributions during this time; and the remainder had no opinion.
When asked if they would check their account balances for accuracy on Jan. 1 or shortly thereafter, nearly 34% of respondents said yes.
The survey was conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research, Edison, N.J.
Architec(k) adds record keeper links
BOSTON -- Wiesenberger, a Thomson Co., has enhanced further its Architec(k) retirement planning software for defined contribution plans by adding the ability to link with record keepers.
A record-keeper link allows participants to check fund performance, modify an asset allocation or increase contribution levels.
The software also includes a paycheck calculator, savings analysis graphs, and a loan and distribution calculator showing the effects of individual retirement account rollovers or re-investment within the current fund family.
Retirement 'check-up' added to Web site
CHICAGO -- The Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America launched a new tool on its Web site to help people determine whether they will have sufficient retirement savings.
The "Annual Retirement Check-Up" will show individuals how much they have saved, investment returns for the last year and where their money is invested. The hands-on worksheet helps users decide whether they will have enough savings and whether their investment mix is appropriate. The Web site address is www.psca.org.
PwC's campus can be customized
EDINA, Minn. -- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, launched an Internet-based education service that combines personal finance information with worksheets, quizzes and audio.
A demonstration of the service called Financial Planning Campus, is at www.pwcfps.com.
Courses include cash management, insurance planning, investment planning, estate planning and stock options. Plan sponsors can customize the Campus by adding the company's specific benefit plans and personalized online benefit statements with retirement plan account balances.
Pan-American adds investment advice option
NEW ORLEANS -- Pan-American Retirement & Investment Services, through its relationship with Standard & Poor's, a division of The McGraw-Hill Cos., New York, is now offering a participant investment advice service on its Web site.
Investment advice is an optional service offered by Pan-American to the 401(k) plan sponsors and participants it serves.
The site is www.401k4u.com.
So far the advice is available to more than 2,000 plan participants, said Gregg Fischer, Pan-American second vice president.
NYL unit offers mutual fund return service
NEW YORK -- New York Life Benefit Services is launching an online service allowing 401(k) plan participants to look up returns on their mutual funds.
The new Personal Rate of Return service is expected to take into account such factors as purchases and sales of shares, length of time certain investments have been held, and appreciation or depreciation of an account.
Morningstar sets launch of advice service
CHICAGO -- Morningstar Inc. announced it will release an Internet-based advice service for 401(k) participants in the fourth quarter. It is expected to help participants determine their financial goals for retirement and will recommend specific investment options to help them meet those goals.
"We think where we can add value is through our communications," said Sue Stevens, financial planning specialist at Morningstar. "Ours will try to get the user to have fun with it (the service's Web site) and to talk at a level that is not intimidating and (is) very comfortable."