Addressing employer customers' increasing desire to interact with the retirement plan provider online, Standard Retirement Services, a subsidiary of StanCorp Financial Group (2005 revenue of $2.3 billion), launched Compliance Data Review (CDR), a Web-based tool that enables employers to view a summary of plan information online. In addition to easing the preparation of data for annual reporting and compliance testing, the tool enables direct entry of data into the Web front end and automatically flags potential errors, such as missing or invalid data. The end result, according to StanCorp, is a more efficient compliance-testing and government-filing process for plan sponsors.
CDR enhances The Standard's ability to collect participant data online, notes Keith Feist, second vice president, retirement plans administration, Standard Retirement Services. "We were using a Web-based tool prior to this," but it was cumbersome for plan administrators and often required manual intervention, he relates.
With CDR, plan administrators are able to make changes directly, 24 hours a day, Feist stresses. "Before, there was a great deal of back and forth, using a third-party Web site and sometimes involving a paper-based approach," he comments. "Now it's our own Web site and the information is automatically updated on a daily basis."
Feist adds that feedback from CDR users has been very positive so far. "The Standard's data management philosophy for retirement plan customers is fairly unique in that we gather data on all employees all the time, which enables downstream services, such as compliance testing," he says.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio