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News Flash

74% of Employers Still Honoring 401(k) Match

The 401(k) match is holding up against the recession, American Benefits Council found. Seventy-four percent of plan sponsors who had a 401(k) match in place are still honoring that promise, and 15% have either increased the match or are considering doing so.

Only 8% have either decreased or are considering decreasing the match, and 3% have officially eliminated it altogether. Ninety percent of employers have a 401(k) plan, and 66% of those with a plan say that participation rates are at 70% or higher.

"These statistics reflect that employers are clearly committed to providing retirement savings opportunities to their workers, even in tough economic times," said Cara Welch, public policy director for WorldatWork, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on employee benefits. "401(k) plans serve a wide range of employers and a wide range of employees."

The bad news, however, is that 49% of employers said employees are taking loans from their retirement accounts.

Citi Launches First Web-Based UMH Platform

Citi has created the first web-based platform to handle all of the various types of investment products inclued in a unified managed household account, with TIAA-CREF coming on board as the first asset manager to sign on. TIAA-CREF will be using the platform, OpenWealth, in its fee-based wealth management division.

OpenWealth can replace the multiple platforms sponsors currently have to run to administer all of the various and complex products and tax transactions in a UMH. It also includes automated overlay management and rebalancing and, importantly, end-to-end connectivity from the financial adviser straight through to the custodian.

"Our selection of Citi's OpenWealth platform allows us to meet the needs of our clients with industry-leading, customized, goal-oriented portfolio management that is responsive to individual client objectives and investment preferences," said Dennis McDonald, head of product development in the individual products group at TIAA-CREF.

"OpenWealth reduces the number of systems and parties with which we need to interface to deliver a highly flexible managed account platform capable of handling a broad array of investment products," McDonald continued. Neeraj Sehai, global head of securities and fund services at Citi, said, "Developing innovative and cost-effective solutions is a key priority."

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