Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 25th, 2014
Benefit Briefs
Public Sector Not Rushing to Adopt DC Plans
Defined benefit (DB) plans still make up the majority of primary retirement savings vehicles for U.S. municipalities, research reveals. An issue brief, “Defined Contribution Plans in the Public Sector: An Update,” released by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence notes since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, there has been much discussion by state and local governments about shifting from a defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) plan. However, the Center’s analysis shows few municipalities have actually taken action to adopt DC arrangements. Only about 11% of public sector workers currently have access to a DC plan.
Many Small Businesses Not Prepared for ACA Changes
Recently released polls by Paychex highlight the persistent lack of understanding and preparedness among some business owners when it comes to ongoing health care reform. Its Small Business Snapshot survey found only 54% of respondents say they understand what is expected of their business when it comes to the ACA.
Buyer's Market
InHub Introduces Electronic RFP Process
A new online portal from InHub LLC, a Securities and Exchange Commission-registered online investment adviser, helps fiduciaries quickly develop and circulate requests for proposals (RFPs). InHub, based in Chicago, says its new “eRFP” technology is designed to help institutional investors and investment advisers navigate the lengthy RFP process with prudence and ease.
Groom Law Group Adds to Health and Welfare Practice
Seth Perretta has joined Groom Law Group as co-head of the Health and Welfare practice. In addition, Allison Ullman as a principal; Malcolm Slee, as counsel; and Sravya (Via) Boppana, as an associate, will be joining Groom’s Health and Welfare Group, which specializes in various benefits matters. John McGuiness, executive principal of Groom, says the incoming team already has an established D.C.-area practice and specialized knowledge about strategic benefits solutions, making the move a good fit.
BMO Touts Automatic Features in First of Education Series
BMO Retirement Services has released the first in a series of reports intended to educate retirement plan sponsors. The paper, “BMO Defined Contribution IQ: Automatic Features,” is the first in a nine-part, bi-monthly education series titled “Defined Contribution IQ (DC IQ),” which was developed for retirement plan sponsors and their consultants. The reports will examine issues related to retirement plans, including plan design, participant utilization and operational efficiency.
Economic Events
In the week ending April 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 329,000, an increase of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 304,000 to 305,000. The four-week moving average was 316,750, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 312,000. New orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased $6.0 billion or 2.6% to $234.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up two consecutive months, followed a 2.1% February increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 2.0%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.8%.  Transportation equipment, also up two consecutive months, led the increase, $2.8 billion or 4.0% to $74.1 billion. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.33%, up from 4.27% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.39%, up from 3.33%.
Market Mirror
Yesterday, the Dow was unchanged at 16,501.65, the NASDAQ increased 21.37 points (0.52%) at 4,148.34, and the S&P 500 was up 3.22 points (0.17%) at 1,878.61. The Russell 2000 slipped 2.73 points (0.24%) to 1,144.35, and the Wilshire 5000 inched up 14.97 points (0.08%) to 19,970.12. On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.6 billion shares changed hands, with 1.4 declining issues for every advancing issue. The yields for the 10-year Treasury note and 30-year Treasury bond were 2.683% and 3.455%, respectively.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE:  In 1719, Daniel Defoe’s fictional work The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe was published. In 1859, at Port Said, Egypt, ground was broken for the Suez Canal, an artificial waterway stretching 101 miles across the isthmus of Suez and connect the Mediterranean and the Red seas. In 1917, jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia. In 1947, President Harry S. Truman officially opened the first White House bowling alley. In 1995, the actress Ginger Rogers, best known for the 10 films she made with her dance partner Fred Astaire, died at the age of 83.
FRIDAY FILES REWIND: This FRIDAY FILES from five years ago features something to make you rethink having a pizza delivered, one too many touches put on an ice sculpture, and the longest lake name you’ve ever seen.
Have a fantastic weekend!
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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