Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 14th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Prioritizing Student Loan Debt Results in Lower Retirement Savings
HelloWallet found there are very few circumstances in which paying down student loans ahead of schedule leads to a higher net wealth at retirement.Read more >
Study Finds Financial Wellness/Retirement Confidence Disconnect
The latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report shows that six in 10 employees are worried about their financial futures, up from 50% in 2013. Interestingly, the only component for which responses improved was, “I am saving enough for my retirement.” Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, tells PLANSPONSOR, “There’s sort of this false sense of security and optimism about having enough savings for retirement. But overall, they still feel uneasy about their [holistic] financial wellness. So there’s a disconnect.”Read more >
What Kind of Payments Can a Hardship Request Cover When Buying a Home?
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2023
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
ACA Creates Hassle to Prove Health Coverage
“Under play or pay, employers have had to modify their plans, track worker hours, manage eligibility and report coverage to prove they are doing something they have been doing all along,” says Tracy Watts with Mercer.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
A new service from Millennium Trust helps employees search for and process old retirement account dollars that may have been rolled into an IRA.Read more >
iJoin, a provider of mobile enrollment, engagement and independent participant analytics solutions for retirement plans, announced a partnership with North American KTRADE Alliance, LLC (KTRADE). KTRADE, an independent recordkeeper, is comprised of 14 retirement plan third-party administrator (TPA) member firms that cooperate nationally and support a common 401(k) recordkeeping operation.Read more >
Economic Events

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand fell 0.1% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Final demand prices decreased 0.2% in February and advanced 0.1% in January. In March, prices for final demand services declined 0.2% and the index for final demand goods rose 0.2%.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for February, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,284.4 billion, down 0.4% from January and down 1.4% from February 2015.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $446.9 billion, a decrease of 0.3% from the previous month, and 1.7% above March 2015, the Census Bureau reported. Total sales for the January through March period were up 2.8% from the same period a year ago. Retail trade sales were down 0.2% from February, and up 1.3% from last year. Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were up 10.8% from March 2015, while gasoline stations were down 15.6% from last year.
Market Mirror

U.S. stocks closed higher, led by gains in banks after JPMorgan Chase turned in results that weren’t as bad as analysts anticipated, according to the Associated Press. The Dow closed 187.03 points (1.06%) higher at 17,908.28, the NASDAQ increased 75.33 points (1.55%) to 4,947.42, and the S&P 500 was up 20.72 points (1.00%) at 2,082.44. The Russell 2000 climbed 24.21 points (2.19%) to 1,129.92, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 240.73 points (1.13%) to finish at 21,469.59.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, and on the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues more than 3 to 1 on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 3/32, decreasing its yield to 1.765%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 11/32, bringing its yield down to 2.583%.
Court Restricts ESOP Attorney’s Ability to Represent Plans
The attorney’s alleged contempt arose from a lawsuit against Herbert Bruister and others for various breaches of fiduciary duties that caused $6.5 million in losses to pension plans of Bruister & Associates Inc.Read more >
Gruber Systems Ordered to Pay for Improper ESOP Purchase
The Department of Labor (DOL) won a consent judgment and order valued at $1.1 million on behalf of participants in a Gruber Systems Inc. employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The DOL lawsuit suggested the plan’s fiduciaries paid inflated prices for the stock.Read more >
The Endowment Index calculated by Nasdaq OMX increased 1.24% (on a total return basis) for the quarter ended March 31, closing at 1,012.60. By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 gained 1.35% for the same period. The index is the basis for the Endowment Collective Investment Fund (CIF), used by DC plans.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1775, the first abolitionist society in U.S. was organized in Philadelphia with Ben Franklin as president. In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster’s dictionary was published under the name “American Dictionary of the English Language.” In 1902, James Cash (J.C.) Penney opened his first retail store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. It was called the Golden Rule Store. In 1912, the Atlantic passenger liner Titanic, on its maiden voyage hit an iceberg and began to sink. 1,517 people lost their lives and more than 700 survived. In 1923, famous photographer Diane Arbus was born. In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was first published. In 1956, Ampex Corporation of Redwood City, California, demonstrated the first commercial magnetic tape recorder for sound and picture. In 1959, the Taft Memorial Bell Tower was dedicated in Washington, D.C. In 2008, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines announced they were combining.
SURVEY SAYS: This week, I’m reviving an old SURVEY SAYS question asked by my former boss in 2010. Are you happier and/or better off than you were a year ago? 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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