Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 14th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
A K-12 403(b) Plan Sponsor Consolidates Vendors
While establishing processes to comply with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, a school district in Illinois decided it wanted a better retirement plan for itself and plan participants.Read more >
The aggregate pension funded status for S&P 500 firms decreased in the month of July from 83.5% to 82.8%, according to the Aon Hewitt Pension Risk Tracker. Among private-sector defined benefit plans with glide paths in place, approximately 3% executed a de-risking transaction in July, and the average size of those transactions was a 2.3% shift from return-seeking assets (e.g. equities and alternatives) to liability-hedging assets (e.g. high quality fixed income).Read more >
2022 Best in Class DC Providers
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
Rising Health Care Costs Should Set Off Alarm Bells for Plan Sponsors, Study Shows
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Most Expect Social Security to Be Major Source of Income
To coincide with the 80th Anniversary of Social Security, AARP conducted a survey of 1,200 adults about their views on the program. One-third, 33%, said Social Security will be the source of income they will rely on most during their retirement. Eighty-percent said they plan to rely on Social Security either somewhat or substantially.Read more >
Are Open MEPs a Silver Bullet?
Bob Collie, chief research strategist with Russell Investments, is squarely among the camp of retirement plan experts who favor a determined expansion of the multiple employer plans (MEP) system. He is quick to point out that MEPs are distinct from multiemployer plans, which are generally run by an independent board on behalf of labor unions or other related employee groups. Instead, multiple employer plans are established under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) section 413(c) and have historically have been used by companies that share a common industry or payroll provider.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Executive benefits company Pen-Cal has become a Lion Street Owner-Firm, in an effort to broaden Pen-Cal’s benefit plan offerings and expand its client base. Based in Pleasanton, California, Pen-Cal offers design, implementation, and administration of executive benefit programs. It serves the needs of large and mid-size corporations and businesses.Read more >
Investment Product Launches
Franklin Templeton launched a flexible alpha bond fund; Morningstar announced new ESG tracking and reporting capabilities; and American Century started a new alternative investment brand.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending August 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 274,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 266,250, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 15, 2000 when it was 266,250.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for June, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,325.5 billion, up 0.2% from May, but down 2.5% from June 2014. 

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $446.5 billion, an increase of 0.6% from the previous month, and up 2.4% from July 2014. Total sales for the May through July period were up 2.3% from the same period a year ago.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.94%, up from 3.91% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.17%, up from 3.13%.

Market Mirror

U.S. stock indices were little changed Thursday as the decline in China’s currency slowed, according to the Associated Press. The Dow inched up 5.74 points (0.03%) to 17,408.25, the NASDAQ lost 10.83 points (0.21%) to finish at 5,033.56, and the S&P 500 was down 2.64 points (0.13%) at 2,083.41. the Russell 2000 closed 4.24 points (0.35%) lower at 1,204.74, and the Wilshire 5000 decreased 32.08 points (0.15%) to 21,914.07.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 1.5 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, nearly 2.8 billion shares traded, with a 1.3 to 1 ratio of decliners to advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 15/32, bringing its yield up to 2.185%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was down 11/32, increasing its yield to 2.857%.

From the Magazine
Four Reasons We May Still Need Employer Plans
Perhaps the underlying theme of the Obama administration’s retirement policy efforts has been to get more employees in an employer-mediated system and to keep them in that system. While the administration has had limited success—e.g., in recruiting Republicans to support its automatic individual retirement account, or auto-IRA, proposal—few policymakers would disagree with that basic objective.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1848, the Oregon Territory was established. In 1935, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. In 1945, U.S. President Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally. The surrender ended World War II. In 1953, the whiffle ball was invented. In 1980, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was incorporated. In 1995, Shannon Faulkner became the first female cadet in the history of The Citadel, South Carolina’s state military college. She quit the school less than a week later.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Exam answers that will make you laugh out loud. My favorite was for “Find x.”Read more >
When you’re ineb.riated and the escalator is broken, you wonder why the ride is taking so long.Read more >
In St. Lucie County, Florida, police saw a man sitting in his car in a parking lot. The man revved the engine and started speeding away in reverse, but nearly crashed into a pillar. Deputies spoke to the man, who had a pack of in the front seat. They also saw an open Budw.eiser in the cup holder, but the man denied it was there. During field sobriety exercises, he said, “There is no doubt that I am impaired.” There is also no doubt the man was arrested on a D.UI charge.
In Caorle, Italy, a British tourist snapped a photo of parts of his car melting in the extreme heat.Read more >

In Finleyville, Pennsylvania, a man has been charged with as.sault—over a Big Mac. According to the Associated Press, police responded to a call to a home shared by two brothers. Apparently one brother returned home to find that the other had eaten all three Big Mac sandwiches that were in the house and didn’t save him one. He began knocking over appliances and furniture and throwing food. He also beat his brother, bruising the man’s right eye and left cheek, and cutting his ear.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the Dash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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