Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 23rd, 2018
Benefits & Administration
DC Plan Provider Web Portal Designs Growing More Responsive
A new Retirement Plan Monitor (RPM) research report published by Corporate Insight defines “responsive design” as the effort to build digital resources and web pages that can actively detect a viewer’s screen size and orientation, allowing the page to change its layout accordingly to maximize functionality and visibility. “When RPM first launched in the fourth quarter of 2012, responsive design was not present on sites in our coverage group,” the report explains. “In our last report on this topic in August 2016, 55% of the coverage group featured some level of responsive design, and today, that number is 85%, a 55% increase.” Researchers also identify a 117% increase in the number of responsively designed transactional pages, “a trend that was even more profound in those related to investments.” Read more >
DB Plans Accelerating Contributions Due to Tax Reform
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is prompting corporations to contribute more to defined benefit (DB) plans before the 2017 tax year ends on October 15, 2018. By contributing early, corporations can take advantage of a larger tax benefit by expensing their contributions at a higher tax rate. For contributions made before mid-October, the tax rate is 35%. The new legislation lowers the corporate income tax to 21%. As DB plans see improving funding levels, more plans may explore derisking, Cerulli suggests. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
AXA hires executive for Life, Retirement and Wealth Management Business; T. Rowe Price expands Retirement Plan Services Team with new hires; Vestwell partners with Namely for retirement experience; and more. Read more >
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Economic Events

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Today, the National Association of Realtors will report about existing home sales for March. Tomorrow, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Index for April, and the Census Bureau will report about new home sales in March. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Census Bureau will report about durable goods orders for March.

Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow lost 201.95 points (0.82%) to finish at 24,462.94, the NASDAQ closed 91.93 points (1.27%) lower at 7,146.13, and the S&P 500 decreased 22.99 points (0.85%) to 2,670.14. The Russell 2000 was down 9.69 points (0.62%) at 1,564.12, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 219.60 points (0.78%) to 27,775.40.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 13/32, bringing its yield up to 2.959%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 28/32, increasing its yield to 3.146%.

 

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending April 20, the Dow was up 0.42%, the NASDAQ finished 0.56% higher, and the S&P 500 increased 0.52%. The Russell 2000 climbed 0.94%, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 0.78%.

Compliance
Principal Faces Lawsuit Over Management of TDFs
The lawsuit questions the selection of underlying investments for the Principal LifeTime Hybrid Collective Investment Funds, alleging Principal used proprietary investment vehicles, rather than other investment vehicles, and share classes with higher fees. Read more >
New Joint Committee Seeks Input on PBGC Solvency, Multiemployer Pensions
U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Sherrod Brown are seeking public and industry input on ways to improve the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1789, President George Washington moved into Franklin House, New York—the first executive mansion. In 1791, future President James Buchanan was born in Cove Gap near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an act creating the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1951, the Associated Press began use of the new service of teletype setting. In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit his first major-league home run. In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company announced that it was changing its 99-year-old secret formula. New Coke was not successful, which resulted in the resumption of selling the original version. In 1989, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played his last regular season game in the NBA.

SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: I recently read an article that said a teenage girl’s parents paid $1,000 to have her prom dress custom made, so prom inflation is definitely a thing. Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Did you attend a prom and how much did it cost you (or your parents)?” Also, for fun, I asked readers to share the theme of their prom, if they remember. The vast majority (83.3%) of responding readers attended a prom when they were in high school, while 16.7% did not. More than half (52.3%) of readers reported their prom cost them or their parents less than $100, while 40.9% said their prom cost was between $100 and $250. While 2.3% indicated they do not remember how much their prom cost them, the same percentage each chose “between $250 and $500,” and “between $500 and $750.” Many respondents did not remember the theme of their proms, but among those who did, Stairway to Heaven and Under the Sea were repeats. The verbatim comments left by readers really showed the difference between proms of the past and proms now—readers making their own dresses; dresses being modest, long gowns instead of fancy gowns or cocktail dresses; no limos and now sponsored after parties; and the lower prices of items overall. Many expressed that proms have gotten out of hand, with one reader comparing it to a Vegas-style party: “You spend money that you will never see again – for a moments worth of fun.” A couple of readers really dislike the new trend one reader called “promposals.” I enjoyed reading the descriptions of prom nights. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “We rented a mechanical bull for fun time after Prom dinner.” Thank you to all who participated in the survey! Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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