Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 3rd, 2015
Products, Deals & People
Legg Mason Launches Long Duration Credit CIT
Legg Mason, Inc. launched the Hands Benefit & Trust Long Duration Credit Collective Investment Fund (CIF) which is sub-advised by Western Asset. The fund is benchmarked to the Barclays Long Credit index and the company says it will allow eligible retirement plans the efficiency and flexibility to better align assets with their liabilities.Read more >
Economic Events
In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 268,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 285,500, a decrease of 14,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.70%, up from 3.69% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.98%, up from 2.97%.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow rose 65.06 points (0.37%) to 17,763.24, the NASDAQ was up 6.71 points (0.14%) at 4,886.94, and the S&P 500 closed 7.17 points (0.35%) higher at 2,066.86. The Russell 2000 increased 3.94 points (0.32%) to 1,255.65, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 77.56 points (0.35%) to finish at 21,946.62. On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.7 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.5 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners. The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 15/32, bringing its yield up to 1.910%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 9/32, increasing its yield to 2.527%.

2023 DC Survey Standouts
Understanding Investments and Fees: A Key Part of Plan Committee Education
TIAA In-Plan Retirement Income Option Reaches $30B
Don’t Leave the IRS Hanging on Voluntary Corrections
The Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted a Voluntary Compliance Follow-Up project to determine if plan sponsors completed the corrections they agreed to in their Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) compliance statements. The agency found 29% of plan sponsors were in violation of the compliance statements or had some other noncompliant issue. The majority of these issues stemmed from failing to make the proposed correction within 150 days from the date the statement was issued.Read more >
PBGC Proposes Electronic Filing for Multiemployer Plan Notices
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is proposing to amend its regulations to require electronic filing of certain multiemployer notices. The proposed rule would require the following notices to be filed electronically: notices of termination under part 4041A, notices of insolvency and of insolvency benefit level under parts 4245 and 4281, and applications for financial assistance under part 4281.Read more >
Records to Keep for Loans and Hardship Withdrawals
“Even if you use a third-party administrator (TPA) to handle participant transactions, you’re still ultimately responsible for the proper administration of your retirement plan. Make sure you’re keeping up with the recordkeeping requirements,” the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tells plan sponsors on its website. Failure to have these records available for examination is a qualification failure that should be corrected using the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS).Read more >
Pension Fund Managers Anticipate Conservative Investing
Despite their continued uncertainty over the outlook for global economic improvement in 2015, fund managers remain optimistic about investments in equities and alternative assets over the long term, according to the Global Survey of Investment and Economic Expectations conducted by Towers Watson. However, managers continue to express concern over returns from government bonds. The survey showed that managers’ ongoing uncertainty over the world economy is having an effect on how they view portfolio positioning over the next year. Only one-quarter (25%) believe the investment strategies of their institutional clients will become more aggressive this year.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously left St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. In 1865, during the Civil War, the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, was captured. In 1882, one of America’s most famous criminals, Jesse James, was shot to death by fellow gang member Bob Ford, who betrayed James for reward money. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed off on legislation establishing the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948, more popularly known as the Marshall Plan. The act eventually provided over $12 billion of assistance to aid in the economic recovery of Western Europe. In 1953, “TV Guide” was published for the first time. In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “mountaintop” speech just 24 hours before he was assassinated. In 1993, the Norman Rockwell Museum opened in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. In 1996, Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski was arrested. He pled guilty in January 1998 to five Unabomber attacks in exchange for a life sentence without chance for parole.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

A very cool April Fools’ Day video prank by a college professor.Read more >
Five useful microwave tips.Read more >

In Barberton, Ohio, an assisted living facility has created a charity calendar with participation from residents. According to the Associated Press, the models for the calendar are in their 80s and 90s, but that didn’t stop them from showing a little skin. Miss March, who’s 88, wears a green top hat and not much else in the calendar from Pleasant Pointe Assisted Living, and the centerfolds are two women in their 90s who seem to be playing poker with strategically placed oversize cards. For February, there’s a smiling, white-haired lady soaking in a bubble bath and flower petals, with chocolates and lingerie nearby. At 87, she’s the same age as the youngest of three models standing in the cover photo, where their bare feet and shoulders peek out from behind a banner they hold advertising the Barberton facility and the affiliated Pleasant View Health Care Center. Money from the $12 calendars goes toward a fund providing shoes for children in the local schools in the city of Barberton.

In Mankato, Minnesota, a 911 dispatcher took a call at 3:42 a.m. one morning and heard two voices on the line. What they were saying led her to believe they were involved in a theft or burglary. During the 34-minute call police were able to locate the callers—three people—who were hiding out at a police gun range. According to KTOE Radio, items in their possession clued police in on a burglary at a nearby business. The three have been arrested, pending charges.

In Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, a shopper believes she found an Easter miracle when she spotted Jesus’ face on the top of a hot cross bun.Read more >

In West Jakarta, Indonesia, police getting rid of evidence inadvertently into.xicated some residents. According to UPI, police set fire to 3.6 tons of mari.juana in a field outside their West Jakarta office, and several reporters and other witnesses reported dizziness and other effects associated with mari.juana consumption. Some residents living nearby the station reported the smoke wafted into their windows and caused into.xicating effects. However, the police officers tending the fire wore protective masks.

In Easton, Pennsylvania, the father of a man recovering from surgery sent his son a get-well card with a scratch off lottery ticket inside. The son was feeling very well after he scratched it off and saw he won $7 million. He sent a photo of the ticket to his father, who agreed it was a winner.

In Brittany, France, a man called emergency services and asked for an ambulance, telling dispatchers he had been performing CPR on a man who was not responding. When police arrived at the scene, they found the man giving a rubber dinghy mouth to mouth and heart massage. The would-be hero was taken into custody, examined by a doctor, then put in a cell to sober up overnight.

We wish everyone a good weekend and happy holidays!
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Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2015.

All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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