Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 5th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Study Shows Low Level of Financial Literacy Among Americans
Large numbers of Americans do not have the knowledge associated with financial decisions, according to an annual survey conducted by the TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) at George Washington University School of Business. Given a personal finance survey of 28 questions covering such subjects as investing and managing debt, participants could only answer half of the questions correctly. “Low levels of financial literacy—not only [among] the young but also people close to retirement—show we need to step up the effort to promote financial knowledge across the entire population,” says Annamaria Lusardi with the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. Read more >
QSEHRAs Help Small Employers Offer Health Benefits
Seventy-one percent of small businesses that offered the new qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA) in 2017 had not offered health benefits previously, according to “The QSEHRA: Annual Report,” from PeopleKeep, a provider of benefits for small businesses. Only 6% previously offered traditional group health benefits, and nearly 20% gave employees a taxable stipend for health care. The study also found that in 2017, small business employees used an average of 78% of their QSEHRA allowance, and 52% used 100% of their allowance. Read more >
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Products, Deals and People
Prudential Retirement Offers New Skill for Amazon Alexa
Retirement plan participants can now ask Alexa for retirement account information they commonly get through participant websites. Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in February increased $7.4 billion or 3.1% to $247.7 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up three of the last four months, followed a 3.5% January decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.2%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.5%. Transportation equipment, also up three of the last four months, led the increase, $5.5 billion or 7.1% to $83.5 billion.

Sponsored message from Vanguard
Snapshots of TDF performance miss the big picture
When evaluating TDF performance, use a holistic approach to look beyond a single point in time. Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow was up 230.94 points (0.96%) at 24,264.30, the NASDAQ climbed 100.83 points (1.45%) to 7,042.11, and the S&P 500 closed 30.24 points (1.16%) higher at 2,644.69. The Russell 2000 gained 19.51 points (1.29%) to finish at 1,531.66, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 303.65 points (1.12%) to 27,420.69.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 6/32, increasing its yield to 2.801%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 16/32, bringing its yield up to 3.040%.

Compliance
Most Claims Dismissed in Case About TIAA Loan Processes
A federal district court judge agreed that TIAA is not a fiduciary with respect to the design of its participant loan program or its negotiations about fees with Washington University. Read more >
ERISA Advisory Council Offers Recommendations for Simplifying Mandated Disclosures
For example, the Council proposes to develop an alternative means of compliance by which the introductory portion of the summary plan description (SPD)–referred to as the “Quick Reference Guide”–would be delivered annually to participants automatically, and the entire SPD or any full part of the SPD would be made available upon request. Read more >
Industry Voices
Separate Myth From Reality When Considering Passive Target-Date Funds
Passive target-date funds (TDFs) are not always the safer fiduciary choice and not always the better choice for defined contribution (DC) plan investors. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1792, President George Washington cast the first presidential veto. The measure was for apportioning representatives among the states. In 1933, the first operation to remove a lung was performed at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1951, Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for committing espionage for the Soviet Union. In 1984, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers) became the all-time NBA regular season scoring leader when he broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 31,419 career points.

SURVEY SAYS: We covered a survey which found emotional reactions are common in the workplace. This week, I’d like to know have you cried or expressed anger at your workplace? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today. 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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