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Changing the Standards for Employee Benefit Plan Services
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – In recent years, as many American corporations have focused much of their capital investments on core operations, they have searched for solutions to outsource the servicing of their employee benefit programs.
In fact, about 60 percent of the requests for proposals that Fidelity Employer Services Company received from large companies in 2001 asked for administrative services in two or more areas, including 401(k), defined benefit pensions, health and welfare, and human resource management and payrolls.
Today, that trend continues as more companies seek a trusted provider to provide administrative services for their benefit programs and service their employees. Overall, corporations are integrating multiple benefit programs with a single provider to capture the value of integrated solutions, standardized service levels, and reduced costs.
Oftentimes, the expense that corporations face in upgrading internal systems to effectively administer their programs is a major driver in outsourcing decisions. Many companies fear the significant ongoing investment cost and the time and effort necessary to periodically upgrade systems.
Companies clearly believe they can save money by outsourcing compared with conducting the tasks in-house.
Outsourcing to a single provider can also reduce the complexities of managing multiple vendors. Companies are finding it easier to manage a single vendor with one contract that has one set of performance and service standards. They see value in one point of contact and one provider that knows the details of the various plans. Fidelity helps simplify the management of multiple benefits programs with its Plan Sponsor WebStationSM. This online tool provides benefits executives access to custom and ad-hoc reports, participant and plan level information and performance information. It helps to reduce administration burdens and is a link between Fidelity relationship managers and their clients.
Additionally, when human resource executives outsource servicing and transaction processing, they are able to concentrate on their key strategic roles, such as management development, recruiting and retention.
In handling multiple programs for a company, the service provider can yield a stronger commitment to cooperate and to guarantee delivery of agreed upon objectives.
Benefits to Employees.
A single service provider can offer significant benefits to a company's employees, who can look to one source for plan information and servicing. Employees also benefit from increased customer service levels, which can equate to higher satisfaction levels.
Fidelity's approach to servicing multiple benefit programs allows employee self-service, enabling access to all their information through a single source, whether it be a telephone service representative, a telephone voice response unit or the Internet.
Today, the Internet is the most popular channel for benefits management among Fidelity's clients. Workers and retirees are using Fidelity NetBenefits® in record numbers because it provides single click access to a wide variety of employee benefit programs, including 401(k) and defined benefit plans, health and welfare programs, and payroll information. Fidelity customizes the award-winning site for clients with plan specific news and content.
With NetBenefits employees can now gain access to all of their benefit programs by logging on once at a single Web site. From there, employees have direct access to relevant information, online planning and decision-support tools, and can conduct a wide range of workplace service transactions with the convenience of the Internet. The site helps employees manage important life events and adjust benefit plans accordingly.
Fidelity's integrated strategies provide for easy and complete access to the total benefits package and can lead to higher satisfactions levels among a company's workforce.
Extensive Workplace Knowledge
Fidelity's extensive understanding of the workplace positions it well to assist companies in achieving their goals of integrated human resource and benefits solutions. Fidelity's outsourcing solutions aim to set the standards in employee satisfaction and creating a competitive advantage for employers.
Fidelity has more than 20 years of experience as a trusted workplace services provider. It began servicing employer-sponsored retirement plans in the early 1980s and is now the nation's largest provider of 401(k) plan services. In that time, the company has made substantial investments in the technologies and platforms, such as integrated data management, plan rules engines, and transaction processing. The enhancements are changing the way benefit programs are delivered and managed in the workplace.
In the mid-1990s, in response to the growing needs of its 401(k) clients for further outsourcing services and leveraging its investment in serving technology, Fidelity began offering a broader array of benefit outsourcing services.
The company's workplace services business, a strategic part of Fidelity's future growth plans, today offers large companies a fully integrated package of outsourcing services:
  Defined contribution retirement plans
  Defined benefit pension plans
  Health and welfare plans
  Human resource administration and payroll
  Actuarial and consulting
Fidelity Employer Services Company provides retirement, human resources and other employee benefits solutions to 11.2 million American workers by providing administrative services for more than 11,100 retirement, pension, health and welfare, human resources administration and payroll programs.
Fidelity Employer Services Company, a division of Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company, Inc., 82 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA 02109.

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