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Comparable alternatives to CCH Pension Plan Guide Online

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I have used CCH's Pension Plan Guide online since 1999 (and before that, the CD version and before than the hardcopy version, dating back to 1990).

Annual renewal is around the corner and I'm looking for an alternative, comparable product. The reasons are there have been some pretty steep price increases over the years, and the addition of IntelliConnect in 2009 was, in my experience, an IntelliDISConnect. (Prior to IntelliConnect, I thought the product was much easier and faster to use.)

For those that have had experience using this product but have switched, what did you switch to? Are you happier with the other product? Is your replacement product easier or faster to use to locate authorities or already known cites?

For those of you who may have been using a different product and have switched to PPG, what was the other product? Do you regret having made that choice?

Thanks in advance for all pertinent comments.

John Simmons


Note to Readers: For you, I'm a stranger posting on a bulletin board. Posts here should not be given the same weight as personalized advice from a professional who knows or can learn all the facts of your situation.

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I used CCH and RIA for years, always with some dissatisfaction because they would not go out on the line with interpretation. With the internet, you can genally find all code, regs, notices, rulings, GCMs, etc. As a newsletter, BenefitsLink.com is far more comprehensive, elaborative, and timely. I do, however, recommend the purchase of the ERISA Outline Book which provides clear-cut interpretations where CCH/RIA fall short. In short, quite awhile ago I dropped all of the name services and apart from being ignorant as "H," I'm getting along better than just fine.

The material provided and the opinions expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and should not be used or relied upon as the basis for any action or inaction. You should obtain appropriate tax, legal, or other professional advice.

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I'm with Andy. I used RIA for a looooong time; used to read their weekly (?) newsletters pretty carefully, then of course the world went electronic and I stayed with them, but about two years ago I realized I barely paid attention to the daily updates, relying instead on BenefitsLink. So I got the online and print versions of the Erisa Outline Book as a backup to keeping up here (the books sit on the shelf and I use the online version so infrequently that I had a hard time logging in the last time I tried).

The only thing I miss are the special supplements...e.g. I still have a dog-eared copy of the analysis of the final 4001(a)(4) regs, with my notations. Sometimes it's nice to have a book in your hand to flip back and forth between pages.

Ed Snyder

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We have used both RIA and CCH, mostly CCH. Their systems work a little different, but I didn't notice significant differences in how well they worked for me. Content is more of an issue for us. Some of the Pension Answer Books are pretty popular in our office and you can only get them on-line at one place.

We've faced the fee increases, too. Over the years, we've pared down the content we have access to until we have the minimum package that will still do what we need. When the increases are large, we start looking at other options again. We usually end up with a renewal price that is close to what the other company offers for a similar package.

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