SPARK Seeking Comments on Lifetime Income Data Standards

May 26, 2011 ( - The SPARK Institute is accepting requests from the retirement plan community for possible changes to its lifetime income solutions data standards.

Larry Goldbrum, General Counsel, said in a press release that SPARK Institute members have, as a result of their implementation work, identified and recommended several improvements to the original version of the Data Layouts for Retirement Income Solutions, which was released in September of 2010 (see SPARK Releases Final Data Standards for Retirement Income Solutions).  

“[W]e are asking everyone in the retirement plan community that is building to, or already using, the Data Layouts to submit additional requests for changes they feel are critically necessary,”  Goldbrum said.  

Issues that need to be addressed and changes that are needed will be handled according to the following hierarchy: 

  • Providing an explanation to accomplish a result or resolve an issue within the existing standards and file structure, 
  • Adding new codes, 
  • Modifying data field formats, and 
  • Adding new fields at the end of an existing record. 


Suggested changes will be accepted through September 30, 2011, with the goal of finalizing and releasing a new version by the end of October 2011.  

The current version of the Data Layouts is posted on The SPARK Institute Web site at