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Plan Investment Analyzer from CCH Explains Fiduciary Duties, Evaluates Fund Performance

(RIVERWOODS, ILL., November 7, 2005) – Now there’s a simple way for those responsible for 401(k) and 403(b) plans to understand and fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to plan participants of providing appropriate investment choices. The Plan Investment Analyzer from CCH, a leading provider of human resources information and software, is a unique resource that provides plan sponsors with unbiased information explaining simply and directly how to deal with today’s 401(k) fiduciary issues, and includes an electronic evaluation tool to let them see exactly how their individual funds are doing (hr.cch.com).

The Plan Investment Analyzer is a subscription service that explains fiduciary responsibility in practical terms and provides the tools and benchmarks that plan sponsors and administrators need to manage their responsibility.

“This will help plan sponsors and administrators make more informed investment choices for their plans and understand what vendors are promising when they bid on retirement plans,” said Brian Hodge, CCH product manager. “It also will help plan sponsors and administrators minimize their exposure to lawsuits.”

As part of their subscription, users receive The 401(k) & 403(b) Participant –Directed Handbook, delivered in print and also electronically over the CCH Internet Research NetWork TM. The Handbook explains the concept of fiduciary responsibility, how it applies to retirement plan investments, and what plan administrators need to know in order to choose 401(k) vendors and investment vehicles that are appropriate for the employer and its employee population. Updated quarterly, It includes a detailed explanation of benchmarking retirement plan investments, as well as sample forms, checklists and evaluation spreadsheets that have been created by using the evaluation tool.

Electronic Evaluation Tool

The electronic evaluation tool analyzes existing portfolios and provides independent, trustworthy guidance on how to choose vendors and investments. It helps determine whether vendors have met their promises, how much the plan sponsor actually pays for its current services and much more.

It also tracks plan investments; reveals published fees; tracks against a model portfolio; reveals outliers and additional fees; provides subscriber-specific feedback; and provides fund alerts.

The evaluation consists of statistical analysis and a “watch list” with a red-yellow-green monitoring system. The colors will indicate whether a plan sponsor or administrator should keep a particular plan, replace a plan, or maintain the plan on the watch list. The fund monitoring system is based on the following criteria:

  • Has the fund under-performed during the five-year period?
  • Has the fund under-performed in three of the past four quarters?
  • Has the fund diverged from strategy and/or portfolio?
  • Has there been a change in the portfolio manager?
  • Is there a weak manager research rating?
  • Has there been significant organizational change?

To use the evaluation tool, subscribers simply submit information about their plan via a secure email address to the independent evaluation service. With a secure user ID and password subscribers can access their fund’s evaluations at any time.

“The evaluations provide plan sponsors and plan committees with unbiased analysis for making their investment decisions,” Hodge said. “They also provide evidence of due diligence and a good faith effort to comply with the fiduciary requirements of ERISA, especially when plan participants challenge investment decisions.”

Availability and Pricing

For more information or to subscribe to the Plan Investment Analyzer, call 888-224-7377 or hr.cch.com.

A subscription to the Plan Investment Analyzer consists of The 401(k) & 403(b) Participant – Directed Handbook in print and electronic formats via the CCH Internet Research NetWork with cross-references to CCH primary source materials (laws, regulations and government documents), plus access to the external evaluation site.

Special introductory pricing is available through December 31, 2005 on two offers: $2,499 for the Handbook (both print & internet) and two plan evaluations or $4,999 with four evaluations. Additional evaluations can be purchased for $1,500 each.

About CCH

CCH is a leading provider of employment law and human resources information for attorneys and human resource professionals. The CCH Human Resources web site is hr.cch.com. Headquartered in Riverwoods, Ill., CCH was founded in 1913 and has served more than four generations of business professionals and their clients. CCH is a Wolters Kluwer company (www.wolterskluwer.com) and part of the Wolters Kluwer Legal Unit.

Wolters Kluwer is a leading multinational publisher and information services company. Wolters Kluwer has annual revenues (2004) of €3.3 billion, employs approximately 18,400 people worldwide and maintains operations across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its depositary receipts of shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices.

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