Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 16th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Leveling the Playing Field for Participant Fees
The concept of fee levelization is garnering attention from defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors and advisers, commencing from such sources as the increased volume of litigation over plan costs and the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration’s (EBSA’s) focus on fee disclosures. What is fee levelization, and how is it implemented? Read more >
Investing
Investors Consider Fund Fees, Performance When Making Purchases
Mutual fund investors on the whole are very savvy about fees, according to a survey by the Investment Company Institute (ICI). Based on data collected in mid-2017, ICI says 90% of mutual fund-owning households consider the fees and expenses of a fund, with 40% indicating that this information is “very important.” Additionally, 90% of mutual fund-owning households consider the historical performance of a fund, with 50% saying this information is “very important.” Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Personal Milestones Serve as Financial Wellness Guideposts
The key to continued success of a financial wellness initiative is its ability to draw employees into the program and encourage them to take ongoing actions, according to the latest in MetLife’s “Financial Wellness: Creating a More Productive and Engaged Workforce” white paper series. The paper suggests employers consider linking financial wellness communications with acknowledged personal milestones or positive behaviors. Read more >
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Some Help for Women’s Retirement Savings Gap May Be Coming
Economic Events

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 $507.5 billion, an increase of 0.5% from the previous month, and 6.4% above July 2017, the Census Bureau reported. Total sales for the May through July period were up 6.3% from the same period a year ago. The May to June percent change was revised from up 0.5% to up 0.2%. Retail trade sales were up 0.4% from June, and 6.0% above last year. Gasoline Stations were up 22.2% from July 2017, while Nonstore Retailers were up 8.7% from last year.

 

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 $1,452.2 billion, up 0.3% from May and up 8.2% from June 2017.

Sponsored message from ADP
Getting Ahead Of The Curve
Digital advice platforms can help younger workers save for retirement. Click to download the white paper. Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow was down 137.51 points (0.54%) at 25,162.41, the NASDAQ lost 96.78 points (1.23%) to finish at 7,774.12, and the S&P 500 decreased 21.59 points (0.76%) to 2,818.37. The Russell 2000 fell 21.91 points (1.29%) to 1,670.67, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 270.38 points (0.91%) lower at 29,369.51.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 11/32, bringing its yield down to 2.860%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 24/32, decreasing its yield to 3.030%.

Compliance
Groups Question Efficiency of Offering Annuities in DC Plans
Comments to the 2018 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans mention lack of utilization among plan participants and other ways defined contribution (DC) plan participants can create sustainable retirement income. Read more >
Pro-ESOP Bill Signed Into Law
Among other things, the Main Street Employee Ownership Act focuses on increasing the role of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in facilitating employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) by allowing the SBA to make loans to companies that they can then reloan to ESOPs. Read more >
School District Accused of Age Bias in Salary to Avoid Pension Contribution
A provision in a union contract limits the salary increases of teachers who are within ten years of retirement eligibility to no more than 6% above their previous year’s salary, which prevents the school district from having to make contributions to the Teacher’s Retirement System. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1777, during the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bennington took place. New England’s minutemen routed the British regulars. In 1858, a telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to U.S. President James Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable. In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln prohibited the Union states from trading with the states of the Confederacy. In 1923, Carnegie Steel Corporation put into place the eight-hour workday for its employees. In 1954, Sports Illustrated was published for the first time. In 1984, the U.S. Jaycees voted to admit women to full membership in the organization.

SURVEY SAYS: We covered a survey which found nearly half of HR managers (46%) have seen someone at their company moved down a rung on the career ladder. This week, I’d like to know, have you ever been demoted at an employer, and if you were demoted now, would you quit your job or stick it out? As always, responses are confidential. You may respond to this 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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