ASC Newsletter

In this issue #19-03

 Richard Hochman – Winner of the Eidson Founders Award!
 2019 Fall Reminders
 Plan Sponsor Magazine Interviews ASC
 Getting to Know Brenda Lounsbury

 

Richard Hochman – Winner of the Eidson Founders Award!

Congratulations to ASC’s Richard Hochman, J.D., Director of Retirement Plan Consulting Services, upon winning the Harry T. Eidson Founders Award. The award was presented to Rich at ASPPA Annual 2019. Eidson was the initial inspiration behind the formation of ASPPA – an organization dedicated and committed to upholding the importance of having a private pension system for the United States. The award is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to ASPPA and the private pension system in general. Rich is an acknowledged industry leader and for over 30 years Rich has worked to help ensure secure retirement plans for the nation’s workforce. Additionally, he was awarded the ASPPA Educator of the Year in 2012 and he served as ASPPA’s president for the 2017 calendar year.

In his private career, Rich has demonstrated his talent for drafting a full range of prototype defined contribution and defined benefit plans and has provided expert advice to both service plan providers and employers about best practice operation of retirement plans. He regularly participates as an instructor in continuing education programs, at in-house programs, and at pension industry forums such as ASPPA and the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting. We wish Rich continued success.

2019 Fall Reminders

Considering 3(16) services, MEPs, other? ASC Can Help You!

When considering new plans or services in your business, check with ASC to see how we can help! We have worked with clients as they expanded into new areas such as 3(16) services and MEPs. We can schedule a mini-training on features you may not have used before, such as Transactions. We have also written automation wizards to perform certain steps on a batch of plans in an unattended manner.

ASC Fall Release Published Nov 4th – did you receive the Broadcast Email?

The ASC Valuation software Fall Release was published on November 4th. If you did not receive the broadcast email announcement, email support@asc-net.com to be added to the distribution list. The release includes enhancements for all plans, along with the 2020 COLAs. Details may be found in the Update Memo accessible from your ASC valuation main toolbar under Help – Manuals – Release Update Memo.

Release Webcast November 12th! Recording Available

The ASC Valuation Release enhancements were reviewed by our Support Team in a webcast on November 12th. Let us know if you have any questions regarding the new features. If you missed the webcast, it was recorded and is available here.

Save Time! Take advantage of Software Automation Wizards and other Tools!

As you prepare for year end, ASC Valuation software automation wizards are available to perform certain tasks in batch plus other tools:

Software Automation Wizards

  • Creating year-end census requests (DC, DB, DC/DB Combo)
  • Batch create census excel spreadsheets using Census Wizard in ASC VAL (Wizards can be found on the CSC – Client Support Center)
  • Rolling plans forward using Update to new plan year
  • Plan library (aka Disk) clean up or reorganization using Copy and Delete wizards in batch

Other Tools:

  • Import Census Utility – located on the ASC Val Dashboard under Utilities – Import
  • Use Side By Side Report to provide ER allocation options with live data
  • Reminder! New Compliance Reconciliation Report
  • Reminder! Use the Import from DGEM for plan docs and Export to 5500, for easy prep for filings
Important Product Integration Information

ASC product integration is available from the Valuation system with our DGEM Plan Documents to bring plan provisions in to your case. 5500/8955/SchSB forms data may also be exported from your ASC case to the DGEM form. Finally, Plan and Employee data may be exchanged from the ASC valuation system to our two CRM/workflow products CATTS andPensionPal. If you’re using these products and aren’t aware of the integration, contact ASC support and we’ll help you get your configuration settings entered.

Plan Sponsor Magazine Interviews ASC

PlanSponsor Magazine reporter, Rebecca Moore, researched the role of technology companies with respect to the needs of plan sponsors. The article claims that the happiness of plan sponsors may very well be linked to the quality of the administration software the TPA chooses to use. We at ASC certainly have as a primary goal to make you look good to your plan sponsors!

Click here to read the PlanSponsor article and let us know if you agree with their theory!

Getting to Know Brenda Lounsbury

Brenda Lounsbury joined ASC as a member of our PensionPal team in March of 2019. She works together with Saeed Golnabi, Randy Bryan and the rest of the ASC Support Team to enhance the PensionPal product. She is a resource for product implementation, training and much more. We are lucky to have her onboard!

Tell us a little about yourself:

I live in Knoxville, Tennessee together with my husband Rich, a geologist. Previously, I have lived in Chicago and New England and I originally hail from Minnesota. I have two children – Josh is 23 and graduated from Virginia Tech. He is a computer engineer working on a marine corps base and Andrew is 21 and finishing his Junior year at Tennessee Tech, majoring in Math. I am a very proud mom!

How would you describe yourself?

I consider myself to be organized and thoughtful. I try to understand the big picture and consider everyone’s point of view. I love learning new things and figuring things out. I enjoy analyzing details to come up with efficient procedures and helping people.

How did you get started in the Industry/Your Background:

I graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Religion from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Obviously, I am not working in those fields. 😊 I have spent the past several years as an Operations and IT Manager for a retirement plan services company. The company I worked for purchased PensionPal in 2007. So, I have 11+ years working with PensionPal as the product evolved and adapting to its changes over the years. PensionPal is a very powerful tool. At the TPA firm I worked for, we were always able to accomplish whatever we needed with it, especially with the unique customization that is available for all clients.

What exactly do you do for PensionPal at ASC?

My title is PensionPal Support Specialist. I work together with the ASC Support Team to ensure that our clients are receiving the best assistance and support they need. I have been working on user and quick start guides as well as videos. Previously I worked at a TPA with documents, restatements, distributions, and overall processes and procedures. I’ve also taken the Retirement Plan Fundamentals ASPPA certificate courses. This background helps me understand what our clients are experiencing and enables me to assist when there are development questions from TPAs. As TPAs expand their business offerings, PensionPal works to meet their needs and I am here to help make that happen!

What skills and abilities do you have that enable you to succeed?

I have very good stress management skills. I am very organized, a typical list maker. I enjoy taking a big project and splitting it into smaller steps in order to meet a goal. It is always easier to do little things. It helps you see the big picture and it is very helpful to have worked at a TPA– as the PensionPal user. I understand the users and what their needs are.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family. Just recently, my sister visited, and we did a lot of hiking and touring. I also love to read. Gardening has always been a hobby of mine. Recently, I started growing herbs, drying them and using them in my cooking. The last couple years I have enrolled in some of the certificate programs at the University of Tennessee. I’ve completed 4 so far – social media and marketing, computer applications, human resources and supervisory management.

Whom do you admire and what lessons has life taught you?

If I had to pick one person, it would be my dad. He faced everything with compassion and humor. He was a lifelong learner and passed that on to me. Now that my children are grown, I have had more reading time. I enjoy reading autobiographies. One of my recent favorites is “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind”. I also have been reading a lot of Maya Angelou’s works. Reading about others is a good opportunity to reflect upon my own life.

This is a special time for me, and my new career at ASC is a win for me!

What is your impression of ASC so far?

I love working with the ASC team and being part of the PensionPal support team! I can ask a lot of questions and I am learning new things. I work virtually, but from day one felt like an integral part of the ASC team. And it was so nice to meet many of my fellow ASC employees at ASPPA Annual 2019 in October.

Brenda, it was a pleasure to interview you. You are a very insightful and dedicated individual and we are happy to have you onboard!