Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 12th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Employees Don’t Know About or Resist Wellness Programs
Although seven in 10 American workplaces offer wellness programs, a new Brodeur Partners survey suggests many employees don’t know that programs exist at their workplaces. Only approximately one-third (34%) of employed Americans surveyed by Brodeur in June said they have a health and wellness program at work. Nearly half the respondents (45%) said they would participate if their workplace offered a wellness program, including 46% of Millennials, 47% of Gen Xers and 39% of Baby Boomers.Read more >
A new study from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute found 92% of employers are taking specific action to help older workers stay on the job. Two-thirds of employers in the study offer flexible hours, while 42% offer flexibility for where employees work, such as working from home or other locations. Other adjustments include job training/re-skilling and job sharing.Read more >
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Ease of Retirement Plan Use Drives Employee Engagement
Efforts to make it easier for employees to save for retirement combined with a strengthening economy have stimulated defined contribution (DC) plan contribution rates and account balances, according to Deloitte’s Annual Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey. Plan sponsors are embracing automatic enrollment, individual financial counseling and mobile transaction processing, Deloitte found.Read more >
Many workers in the U.S. lack confidence in Social Security, yet more than half have done nothing to address personal longevity risk. Nearly one-third (31%) of Americans think there is a greater than 50% chance they will outlive their savings, according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2015 Planning & Progress study.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
SPARK Releases Updated 403(b) Info Sharing Best Practices
The SPARK Institute released a new version of its publication for plan sponsors at non-profit organizations, “Best Practices for 403(b) and Related Retirement Plans Information Sharing.” SPARK explains that since the final best practices data file was issued in 2011, recordkeepers recognized the need for some edits and clarifications.Read more >
Symetra Financial Corporation has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Sumitomo Life Insurance Company. Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance.Read more >
Transamerica Launches Financial Educators Academy
Transamerica Retirement Solutions has partnered with the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) to create the Transamerica Financial Educators Academy, an online program that enables people to become Certified Financial Education Instructors (CFEIs). Transamerica’s goal is to promote greater personal financial knowledge among Americans by teaching them the basics of successful money management, Deb Rubin, senior vice president at Transamerica Retirement Solutions tells PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
Legacy 401k Partners, LLC has received approval from the State of Texas to register directly as an independent registered investment adviser (RIA). For the last five years, Legacy 401k Partners had been registered through a third-party RIA. The independent advisory firm focuses exclusively on corporate retirement plans and offering fiduciary services.Read more >
Economic Events
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that June sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $449.9 billion, up 0.1% from the revised May level, but down 3.8% from the June 2014 level. June sales of durable goods were down 1.1% from last month and were down 1.5% from a year ago. Sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and supplies were down 2.8% from last month and sales of machinery, equipment, and supplies were down 2.2%. Sales of nondurable goods were up 1.2% from May, but were down 5.7% from last June. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were up 3.7% from last month, and sales of farm product raw materials were up 3.6%.
Market Mirror

U.S. stocks ended lower, led by declines in materials stocks as commodities prices dropped, according to the Associated Press. The Dow lost 212.33 points (1.21%) to finish at 17,402.84, the NASDAQ fell 65.01 points (1.27%) to 5,036.79, and the S&P 500 closed 20.11 points (0.96%) lower at 2,084.07. The Russell 2000 decreased 11.54 points (0.94%) to 1,211.14, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 203.74 points (0.92%) at 21,928.50.                                      

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.6 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, nearly 2.8 shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 26/32, bringing its yield down to 2.138%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 27/32, decreasing its yield to 2.808%.

Compliance
Seymour Midwest, a Warsaw, Indiana, hand tool manufacturing company, violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) when it rejected a 58-year-old executive upon learning that he was older than the company’s ideal age range of 45 to 52, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Adding Roth When After-Tax Already Exists
“We are considering adding Roth contributions to our 403(b) plan. However, the plan currently allows for employee after-tax contributions. Should I replace the after-tax contributions with Roth or simply allow them to exist side-by-side?”Read more >
Small Talk
They want to drive to their jobs, head into their private offices and meet face-to-face with colleagues before calling it a day—hopefully, not too late, since work-life balance is their primary career concern. A survey of more than 770 members of Generation Z (those born between 1990 and 1999) by Robert Half and Enactus reveals some insights one might find surprising.Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1851, Isaac Singer was issued a patent on the double-headed sewing machine. In 1865, disinfectant was used for the first time during surgery by Joseph Lister. In 1867, U.S. President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him when he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and made the first sound recording. In 1898, the Spanish-American War was ended with the signing of the peace protocol. The U.S. acquired Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Hawaii was also annexed. In 1939, “The Wizard of Oz” movie musical premiered in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. In 1961, in an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany began building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin. In 1981, IBM unveiled its first PC. In 1990, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovered three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, South Dakota. They turned out to be part of the largest-ever Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, a 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer. In 2014, actress Lauren Bacall died at her New York City home at age 89.

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “The things that we love tell us what we are.”—Thomas Aquinas, religious leader

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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