New Tools Bolster DB Plan Value, Appreciation Employee Benefit News (04/03) Vol. 17, No. 5 p.32; Sweeney, Kevin
New technology can help defined benefit (DB) plan participants improve their understanding and realize the value of their pension plans, which experts note are under appreciated by most plan participants. Currently, there are 44 million workers covered by DB plans, but benefits specialists agree that few employees really understand the benefits of their pension plans. New tools, like pension calculators and e-statements, are emerging that will not only help educate participants about their pensions and retirement security, but will help DB plan participants appreciate the value of their retirement plans. CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services Senior Vice President of Client Solutions Phil Waldeck says pension plans are not well promoted. CIGNA has redesigned its participant statements to provide more information about benefits levels and retirement ages, in hopes that participants will become more educated and interested in their plans. Aon Consulting has begun to feature a pension calculator as one of the Web-based retirement tools it offers 401(k) plan participants, allowing them to view pension estimates and to better consider their retirement options. In addition to new technology, pension experts point out that supplemental resources, such as call lines, are helping pension plan participants become more educated about their DB options and needs.