Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 23rd, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Business Leaders Support Wellness Programs
More than 90% of business leaders believe health has a significant influence on employee productivity and performance, according to results from a national survey conducted by HERO (the Health Enhancement Research Organization) in partnership with Findley Davies. Sixty-two percent of the more than 500 respondents indicated healthy employees influence business productivity, 60% said it influences performance and 41% reported it influences employee engagement and morale. These are all more than the percentage who said healthy employees influence benefits cost reduction.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Consulting Group Unveils 403(b) Plan Offering
Revzon Consulting Group describes its new EZ B Plan as a full-service, one-stop 403(b) for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations with two or more employees, churches and public schools. Employers with existing plans looking to lower out-of-pocket costs without sacrificing services or fund quality will also find the plan attractive, the firm said in a release.Read more >
Economic Events
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February—the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million), according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales have increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and are now 10.4% above a year ago, the highest annual increase since August 2013 (10.7%). March’s sales increase was the largest monthly increase since December 2010 (6.2%).
Market Mirror
Wednesday, the Dow gained 88.68 points (0.49%) to finish at 18,038.27, the NASDAQ was up 21.07 points (0.42%) at 5,035.17, and the S&P 500 gained 10.67 points (0.51%) to finish at 2,107.96. The Russell 2000 increased 1.33 points (0.11%) to 1,265.48, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 101.56 points (0.46%) higher at 22,333.69. On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 1.4 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancers. The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 1.965%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 12/32, bringing its yield down to 2.643%.
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DOL Proposes New Rule on ESG Investing in Retirement Plans
Compliance
Fiduciary Changes Still Hard to Grasp
Law firm Proskauer issued an in-depth client alert that will be helpful reading for anyone looking to get caught up on the language of the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary investment advice proposal. But even after putting together the informative rule summary, Russ Hirschhorn, senior counsel in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) practice center and the labor/employment law department of Proskauer, and other ERISA experts at Proskauer believe its “far too soon to know on net whether this is going to help things or hurt things overall,” or if a strengthened fiduciary rule will truly protect retirement plan participants on the ground and bring more transparency and fairness to the financial system in the way the DOL is hoping.Read more >
Investing
Risk Questionnaires May Not Help Participants
Using risk tolerance questionnaires may not be the best way to help retirement plan participants choose suitable plan investments. The problem, says Aaron Klein, chief executive of Riskaylze, is the very subjective nature of the questions and the questioner. “Psychological and qualitative questionnaires are subjective because someone is always tasked to weight the various answers into some kind of score or result, and that is inherently a judgment call on the part of the designer,” Klein tells PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1564, according to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon. In 1616, William Shakespeare died at the age of 52. In 1791, future President James Buchanan was born in Cove Gap near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signed an act creating the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit his first major-league home run. In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company announced it was changing its 99-year-old secret formula to make New Coke. In 2005, the first video was uploaded to YouTube.com.
SURVEY SAYS: We recently wrote about how peer collaboration and comparison could influence retirement plan participants to improve savings behavior. This week, I’d like to know, would knowing the practices of your peers have an influence on you? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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