The SPARK Institute is asking institute members and other retirement plan community players to suggest ways it might be able to improve its lifetime income solutions data standards.

The SPARK Institute, Simsbury, Conn., a group for large retirement plan service providers and investment managers, released the original version of the retirement income solutions data layouts in September 2010. The deadline for suggestions for changes is Sept. 30, 2011.

The institute will only make changes to address critical issues that cannot be addressed through the existing file structure, and it is most likely to make changes that involve providing explanations users can use to accomplish a result within the existing standards structure, Goldbrum says.

The institute is less open to making changes that involve modifying data field formats or adding new fields at the end of an existing record..

- Allison Bell

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