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Electronic Format is Here to Stay!

Pension Section News – Number 64 | May 2007

Electronic Format is Here to Stay!

By Michael B. Price, ASA, EA

Our readers have spoken.

In the inaugural electronic Pension Section News (PSN), issued last January, we included a quick readership survey. We asked four questions and left some space at the end for readers to comment. Here’s what the 176 of you who responded had to say.

  1. Regarding the PSN, in general, 73 percent of readers said that the PSN was somewhat or very important to them. A couple of comments requested more technical information on PPA. One reader suggested fewer issues with more articles.

Check out Brian Donohue’s article this time on PPA matters. The PSN editors strive for useful content, without being repetitive of factual information that can be found from consulting firm publications and other sources. The editors welcome any suggestions for topics, and welcome even more, authors who write about interesting technical topics.

  1. 45 percent of respondents think all issues should be electronic. 32 percent want both printed and electronic format available. While there are some hard-core fans of printed issues, most respondents are satisfied as long as they can print an article or the entire issue. Some applauded our saving paper and money.

Based on your responses, and the flexibility to publish, the Pension Section Council has decided to go to an electronic-only PSN. The PSN team is working to make the current and archived versions of the PSN easier to print, with fewer steps. You will see continual improvements in this regard, as improvements in technology are available to us.

  1. 86 percent of respondents were satisfied with the layout of the January PSN. This, despite the difficulty of some readers clicking back and for the between summaries and articles.

Yes, there were some technical difficulties with the first electronic issue. We are working with SOA IT gurus to iron those things out. Please let the editors know if you discover difficulties navigating an issue, in the future.

  1. 79 percent of respondents were satisfied with the practicality and content of the January issue. The focus was on Retirement 20/20 activities to date.

A couple of readers asked for more content to help “grab” your interest, so that you then click to read the entire article. We will keep this in mind as we balance content and length of the summaries. Some would like more of a variety in articles, others thought focusing on a single topic was just fine. Our approach will be to remain flexible in theme and content, depending on the topic and number of articles for publication.

So, all in all, you liked what you saw. We will keep this process dynamic, as we make adjustments based on your input and suggestions.

Michael B. Price has just wrapped up his term as chair of the Pension Section Communications Team. He is with Watson Wyatt Worldwide in St. Louis, Missouri. He can be reached at