Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 26th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Mercer Sees Lower Employer Health Benefit Cost Increase
More employees moving into lower-cost medical plans contributed to one of the smallest increases in total health benefit costs per employee in decades, Mercer contends. In addition, employers continue to use strategies such as telemedicine and transparency tools, while encouraging good health behavior among employees to reduce costs. Read more >
From the Magazine
Sum of Its Parts: Creating a Strategic Benefits Plan
Health insurance and retirement plans may be the most commonly thought of employee benefits, but they are only part of a total compensation strategy, and, as employees need to consider all of their benefits together, some companies now embrace a holistic approach as well.Read more >
Is the UAW’s Demand for Return of Pensions a Realistic Ask?
Deals and People
Voya Keeps Building Government Markets Team With Rehire
Data and Research
Unplanned Financial Challenges Continue to Plague US Workers’ Retirement Savings
Economic Events

Sales of new single-family houses in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.1% above the revised August rate of 575,000 and 29.8% above the September 2015 estimate of 457,000.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow was up 30.06 points (0.17%) at 18,199.33, the NASDAQ closed 33.13 points (0.63%) lower at 5,250.27, and the S&P 500 was down 3.73 points (0.17%) at 2,139.43. The Russell 2000 lost 11.36 points (0.93%) to finish at 1,204.74, and the Wilshire 5000 decreased 64.79 points (0.29%) to 22,216.50. 

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with 1.8 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 8/32, bringing its yield up to 1.789%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 25/32, increasing its yield to 2.539%.

Providence Health Agrees to Settle Church Plan Challenge
Provident Health & Services has agreed to pay $351 million to settle a lawsuit challenging the church plan status of its pension plan. The parties in the case reached a settlement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in another case that agreed with an appellate court’s conclusion that only a church can establish a church plan.Read more >
Modeling TDFs With Income in Mind May Benefit Retirees
Adding a range of high-income generating assets to a traditional retirement-stage target-date fund (TDF) portfolio could boost income returns by nearly 40%, an analysis finds.Read more >
DC Plan Sponsors Curious About Strategic Beta
The latest issue of The Cerulli Edge – U.S. Monthly Product Trends Edition concludes that defined contribution (DC) plan advisers and sponsors are increasingly considering strategic beta as an alternative to traditional active management. Cerulli pegs the trend to a heightened focus on fees that has proven to be a boon for passive managers while simultaneously creating a significant headwind for their active counterparts.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1787, the first of the Federalist Papers were published in the New York Independent. The series of 85 essays, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, were published under the pen name “Publius.” In 1858, Roland Macy opened Macy’s Department Store in New York City. In 1904, the New York subway system officially opened. It was the first rapid-transit subway system in America. In 1925, Fred Waller received a patent for water skis. In 1927, the first newsreel featuring sound was released in New York. In 1938, Du Pont announced “nylon” as the new name for its new synthetic yarn. In 1954, the first Walt Disney television show “Disneyland” premiered on ABC. In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord. In 1997, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 554.26 points. The stock market was shut down for the first time since the 1981 assassination attempt on U.S. President Reagan. In 2002, the Anaheim Angels won their first World Series. They beat the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 of the series. In 2002, Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys) became the all-time leading rusher in the NFL when he extended his career yardage to 16,743. He achieved the record in his 193rd game. He also scored his 150th career touchdown. In 2003, Bank of America Corp. announced it had agreed to buy FleetBoston Financial Corp. The deal created the second largest banking company in the U.S.

SURVEY SAYS: Monday is Halloween. I recently read about a survey that found dressing up in costume and celebrating Halloween at work is good for employee morale. This week, I’d like to know, does your workplace celebrate Halloween and will you be dressing in a Halloween costume for work? Also, please share the best costumes you’ve worn or seen. You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along—and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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