ASC Winter 2007 Newsletter

In this issue:

Take Advantage of DC/DB Combo Plans with new PPA funding limits

New DC/DB Combo PPA Plan Report in ASC DC/DB Combo Report included with ASC System Defined Benefit Report included with ASC System.  
  • ASC software and documents enable you to take full advantage of the new planning opportunities provided by the Pension Protection Act (PPA).
  • With the ASC DC and DB system you can design a DC/DB Combo plan to fund in excess of the current $45,000 limit for 401(k) plans in 2007.
  • And DC/DB Plans are even easier with ASC’s Document Generation & Management (DGEM) System because the document language supports the features you can design on ASC in a particular DC/DB plan.
  • Attached is one example of a DC/DB combo plan – but many other concepts such as DB only, Cash Balance or Floor Offset type designs work equally well with the new DC/DB combo routines in the ASC Valuation System coupled with the DGEM Documents.
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ASC System Projects for DB and DC Systems

While clients have been busy working on plans with 3/15 and 4/15 deadlines, ASC’s development team has been busy enhancing ASC Systems in time for the spring and fall system releases. Following are some of the projects the development team is working on: Defined Benefit System
  • PPA funding changes
  • Most valuable accrual options in 401(a)(4)
  • Upgraded reporting options
  • DB/DC combo reports
  Defined Contribution and Compliance Testing Systems
  • User-defined data checks allowing user selection of fields, specs and formulas with upgraded PDF reports for clients
  • Compliance test specs saved as plan specs
  • Enhanced annual additions reporting
  • Short year automation
  • Employee field expansion
  • Budget routine upgrades
  • Compliance test parameters page upgrades
  • Conversion of loan/withdrawal module to windows
  • Specific safe harbor and rollover source type programming
  This list only highlights the enhancements planned for this year’s system updates. Support team members will be reviewing the “project list” items stored in the support database this tax season and will be adding those to the development timeline. You can submit items that you would like ASC to consider for future system enhancements through our website support incident log at

Claire May joins the Sales & Marketing Team

Client interaction has always been Claire’s favorite role in business. “I’ve been in ASC Support for 10 years!” says Claire. “I enjoy the client contact – and going into sales is, for me, the logical next step.” Claire learned about the pension industry at a corporate HR job right after college. Shortly thereafter she went to work at Pentad (now Invesmart) and then moved to Wells, Lamoriello where she split her time between administration, client communications and sales. Anyone who has worked with Claire would not be surprised to learn that at both TPA firms Claire was assigned the “at-risk” clients. “Clients that were giving other consultants a hard time would be transferred to me,” shares Claire. Wanda McClendon of Beasley & Company sums it up best. “Claire will be missed greatly by ALL her clients. Claire knows the ASC system inside out and can explain it in very easy to understand ways. She has been my lifeline and has made me a better user of the ASC system. And although I know I have asked the same question more than once, she has always had a positive attitude and been willing to help me work it through. I am losing more than just my ASC lifeline; I’m losing a great friend!” In 1997 Claire decided to start her own TPA firm. She called Sarah Simoneaux to purchase an ASC System. But instead of selling Claire a system, Sarah sold Claire on joining ASC Support! “It’s been great working at ASC for the past 10 years,” says Claire, “and going into sales is really just an extension of the work I’ve been doing with clients for years.” Many clients share the opinion of Dean T. Fichtner, VP at Northwest Retirement Plans, Inc., who says, “Claire is not only very knowledgeable about ASC, her enthusiasm and personality are a major reason that using the ASC products is a great experience.” The ASC Team wishes Claire the best of luck in her new position!  

Pervasive Support

As of January 2007, Pervasive supports only version 9 of Pervasive SQL software. Previous versions (e.g., version 8.x) are no longer supported. ASC continues to support Pervasive SQL version 7.x (including 2000 and 2000i), 8.x and 9.x. However, please be aware that if problems arise with versions prior to 9.x and ASC is unable to resolve those issues, ASC will not be able to contact Pervasive for a resolution. Pervasive SQL is the data management software used within ASC and is an integral part of the system. If you are planning hardware or software upgrades, you should consider upgrading to Pervasive SQL version 9.x. Also, be aware that version 9.x is required if you are using Windows Vista.  

Basic Training Series Recorded Webcasts Now Available

ASC Support recently completed a series of recorded webcasts geared toward new ASC users. These webcasts are available in both Windows Media and Flash formats and can be viewed or downloaded from ASC’s online Client Support Center. Simply login and click the “Web Seminars” tab then click the “On Demand Seminars” box. Although the webcasts are designed for new users, existing users may find some of the information to be useful as well. The Basic Training Series is comprised of three webcasts: Basic Plan Setup, Compliance Testing, and Transactions. A description of each webcast follows. Basic Plan Setup Basic ASC training for beginners and intermediate users. The webcast covers plan specification setup, importing data, grid functions, running valuation reports, and troubleshooting problems. (92 minutes) Compliance Testing The complete testing process on ASC, from importing employee data and coding the plan specs to printing the last test. The webcast is designed for all users who perform compliance testing on ASC. (110 minutes) Transactions An introduction to using transactions within the ASC system. Topics include the advantages of using transactions, inputting fund elections, and performing fund splits, inputting payroll data, calculating an employer match, and processing transactions. (63 minutes) Even if you are already familiar with the ASC system, we encourage you to view these webcasts if you feel that the subjects covered may help your understanding and use of the system. And while on our website, be sure to check out other recorded webcasts as well, including webcasts on importing data files and insurance company downloads, recommended coding for various recordkeeping issues, and an introduction to ASC’s report writer. Contact with any questions.