SPARK Proposes Update to Info Sharing Best Practices

January 21, 2011 ( - The SPARK Institute has released for public comment a draft of an update to its information sharing best practices for 403(b) plans.

Larry Goldbrum, General Counsel, said the update establishes that the best practice for data transmission is on a weekly basis (instead of monthly) in response to plan needs and industry requests for more up to date data for use in monitoring plan activity and approving transactions.  It also establishes approaches for transmitting daily file updates as either a full file refresh or partial file refresh (Daily Delta Files) when the affected parties specifically agree.  

“In order to facilitate an effective transition, this update will not become effective until October 1, 2011, providing all interested parties time for review and to make any changes they deem necessary,” Goldbrum said. He also said that the update incorporates answers to certain questions concerning the Best Practices that had been posted on The SPARK Institute website.   The document is posted at  

Goldbrum noted that companies do not have to be SPARK Institute members to comment on the document; SPARK encourages comments from all interested parties in the 403(b) plans community.  Comments are due by Tuesday, February 1, and should be submitted to