Investment Advice by Plan Sponsors Most Common Change Prompted by PPA

October 1, 2007 ( - Offering investment advice to plan participants is the most common change made by health care plan sponsors as a result of the Pension Protection Act (PPA), with 85% saying that was the case.

The Retirement Plan Trends in Today’s Healthcare Market survey found that plan sponsors have also made the following changes to their retirement plans in response to the PPA (See Everything You Wanted to Know About the PPA ), according to a news release:

  • 67% plan to offer automatic enrollment,
  • 56% now offer managed accounts,
  • 29% plan to offer managed accounts in the future; and
  • 30% plan to add automatic deferral increases, nearly triple the number who already have implemented it.

Improving participant education has been the most anticipated change among plan sponsors (85%). According to the survey, 80% of health care plan sponsors are conducting employee meetings; 27% are tailoring print and electronic education materials; 25% offer access to comprehensive financial planning and 12% are providing educational videos.

Electronic communications is the preferred method to reach employees, with 68% of plan sponsors using an intranet to communicate retirement plan information and 93% using e-mail, according to the survey.

As far as plan administration, the most common function plan sponsors outsource is loan processing (53%), followed by hardship withdrawals (51%), Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (45%) and paperless enrollment (36%).

The survey was sponsored by Diversified Investment Advisors and the American Hospital Association.