A new 33-country survey by global consulting firm Mercer of organizations that sponsor defined contribution (DC) retirement plans reveals widespread adoption of automatic enrollment and other relatively new “automatic” features designed to boost employee enrollment and limit the number of decisions employees need to make. The plans surveyed represent more than $440 billion in assets. One-third of the employers surveyed offer automatic enrollment, one-third automatic contribution escalation, and over one-fifth automatic rebalancing features, Mercer reports. Among the close to 80% of companies that have a default investment option, lifecycle funds are the most common, used by 67% of those respondents.
New York Life Retirement Plan Services said it is launching a major technology initiative and has already hired 13 people for the project, with plans to hire up to 17 more by the end of 2009 and an additional 30 by the end of 2010. According to New York Life, the newly hired team will be charged with a number of high-priority technology projects including enhancing New York Life Retirement Plan Services’ client Web site and upgrading its data warehouse, helping the firm and its clients to better understand and act on data about retirement plan participants.