Wachovia Extends Participant Call Center Hours

November 4, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Wachovia Retirement Services has temporarily extended customer service call center hours to help participants "during this time of financial markets volatility."

According to a press release, Wachovia says that, in addition to its regular call center hours of Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time, the retirement call center will also be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time on Saturdays, effective this weekend.

Wachovia says that over the last 60 days, its retirement call center has seen an almost 30% increase in call volume on a year-over-year basis. According to a press release, participants have been calling to rebalance portfolios to more conservative fund options, and in some cases to seek a distribution, a loan or change in savings rate.

“These are extraordinary times for the individual investor, and we want to be more available so we can help them through their thought process as they take steps to adjust to market volatility,” said Joe Ready, head of Wachovia Retirement Services. “We feel it’s important to respond to the increased volume of calls by expanding the timeframe for participants to make inquiries and changes to their accounts outside of the traditional Monday through Friday work week.”

Consultation Services Update

In early September, Wachovia Retirement Services began offering a free retirement consultation to participants, which is accessed by calling an 800 number (see  Wachovia Offers Free Consultation to Retirement Plan Participants ).   According to Wachovia, during the month of September, of those participants who were offered the consultation, roughly a third agreed to speak with a retirement consultant and, of those who agreed to a consultation, 11% were on track for retirement, which is the same figure as those who accepted the retirement consultation during the pilot offering, according to the firm.

Wachovia Retirement Services administers over 6,700 retirement plans, manages $100.9 billion assets under administration and serves 2.2 million pensioners.