Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 21st, 2016
Benefits & Administration
In the second half of 2015, these pension plans experienced a funding percentage decrease of four percentage points, declining from 79% at the end of June to 75% at the close of 2015, according to Milliman’s Spring 2016 Multiemployer Pension Funding Study.Read more >
Active Engagement Helps with Health Benefits Goals
A survey by DirectPath finds that 71% of employers opt for passive enrollment in their health plans. Lori Dustin, chief marketing officer at DirectPath, who is based in Boston, explains that with passive enrollment, employers provide open enrollment materials to their employee population, may host a webinar or presentation of benefits and options, then direct employees to a website for self-service enrollment. Dustin cites an AFLAC survey that found 90% of employees tend to keep the same plan they had in the previous year. The AFLAC survey found employees spend less than one hour researching benefits information. DirectPath believes active engagement is a better way for health benefits enrollment.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Unknowns Increase Stress About Retirement
Stress about retirement is especially felt among Millennials and Generation X employees, a survey finds.Read more >
Millennials Overly Hopeful About Retirement
About one in five Millennials feel hopeful when looking at their retirement savings account balance, yet 25.34 million of them haven’t even started saving, according to a Personal Capital Retirement Readiness Survey.Read more >
Sponsored message from MetLife
Pension Risk Transfer Pulse. Get the latest findings from a recent MetLife poll.Read more >
Economic Events
Bolstered by big gains in the Northeast and Midwest, existing-home sales bounced back in March and remained slightly up from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 5.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million in March from a downwardly revised 5.07 million in February. Sales rose in all four major regions last month and are up modestly (1.5%) from March 2015.
Market Mirror

Energy companies led U.S. stocks modestly higher in late-afternoon trading Wednesday as the price of oil recovered from an early slide, the Associated Press reports. The Dow gained 42.67 points (0.24%) to finish at 18,096.27, the NASDAQ increased 7.80 points (0.16%) to 4,948.13, and the S&P 500 added 2.52 points (0.12%) to finish at 2,103.32. The Russell 2000 was up 2.06 points (0.18%) at 1,142.29, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 17.03 points (0.08%) higher at 21,698.68.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with a near 2 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 17/32, bringing its yield up to 1.845%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 7/32, increasing its yield to 2.655%.
The City of Milpitas, California, will pay $140,000 and provide other relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC says the city chose a less qualified applicant rather than more qualified applicants older than 50.Read more >
From the Magazine
Just out of Reish: Share Classes
Retirement plan committees continue to be sued over the cost of 401(k) investments. Participants allege that they pay unreasonably high expenses, which reduces the returns and, ultimately, savers’ retirement nest eggs. A reasonable expense for a plan to pay is not the same as a reasonable expense for an individual investor. Plans have much larger asset pools, so they can buy less expensive shares such as institutional share classes of the same mutual funds.Read more >
Saxon Angle: Post-Dudenhoeffer
In the year since we wrote “Company Stock Cases,” stock drop litigation has continued to rise. As a result of two recent cases, there is now hope that the pendulum could swing the other way.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first U.S. Vice President. In 1836, General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. This battle decided the independence of Texas. In 1862, the U.S. Congress established the U.S. Mint in Denver, Colorado. In 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington. In 1898, the Spanish-American War began. In 1918, German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, “The Red Baron,” was shot down and killed during World War I. In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon. In 1977, “Annie” opened on Broadway. In 1987, special occasion stamps were offered for the first time by the U.S. Postal Service. “Happy Birthday” and “Get Well” were among the first to be offered. In 1994, Jackie Parker became the first woman to qualify to fly an F-16 combat plane.
SURVEY SAYS: I read an article about some research that found people who work more than the 40-hour work week are less productive than those who work 40 hours a week or less. This week I’d like to know, how many hours a week do you usually work, and do you feel you are more or less productive because of it? You may respond to the 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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