More E-Plan Providers Could Go Paperless

May 9, 2001 ( - Plan sponsors may soon have a wider choice of completely electronic 401(k) service providers with Wednesday's announcement that Pyramid Digital Solutions can now support digital signatures.

Pyramid’s capability, which uses advanced public key infrastructure  technology,
will be housed within Pyramid’s suite of Internet products. That includes PlanWeb account management software that is used in plans with more than eight million participants.

“The enactment last year of the federal electronic signatures bill created an opportunity for retirement plan providers to leverage digital certificates for approving transactions and acknowledging receipt of information,” said Dharmesh Shah, president and CEO of Pyramid, a software and services company.

Pyramid specializes in integrated front-end systems for the retirement plan industry.

Many of the current dozen or so electronic plan providers say they’re studying federal legislation allowing e-signature use so they still require plan sponsors and participants signatures on hard copy records. For example, Fidelity e401k still requires some traditional documents.

Secure Information Flow

According to Shah, this technology will allow the secure exchange of information between retirement plan participants, sponsors, and providers.

Examples of use include allowing a participant to digitally sign transaction requests such as distributions.

Digital Certificates could also allow participants to verify receipt of important documents such as statements and notification forms.