Fidelity Investments has upgraded its Advisor 401(k) platform to take advantage of opportunities offered in the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
   The features added by Fidelity will provide advisors with retirement education consultants, an automatic 401(k) enrollment service and a tool that helps plan sponsors benchmark plan performance .
   Among the provisions of the Pension Protection Act are incentives for plan sponsors to offer automatic enrollment and the ability of plan providers to act as advisors to plan participants.
   The automatic enrollment feature will allow plan sponsors to automatically enroll eligible participants unless they specifically opt out of plans, according to Fidelity. The company stated that plan sponsors who provided automatic enrollment in 2005 had participation rates 22 percentage points higher than those who did not enroll employees automatically.
   On the advisor front, Fidelity said it will now provide a team of consultants to provide onsite initial enrollment meetings or online workshops to help educate employees on the benefits of 401(k) investing.
   The benchmarking tool will provide employees with an annual snapshot of their financial situation, with a projection of how their retirement savings strategy will perform up to retirement.
   "The enhancements to our advisor-delivered 401(k) plan, in addition to the Pension Protection Act of 2006 passed by Congress and recently signed by President Bush, puts plan sponsors and their advisors in an even better position to address the component of plan performance," said David Liebrock, executive vice president, Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company Inc.