Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 19th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Do Recordkeeping Systems Matter?
Twenty-five years ago, a retirement plan recordkeeping system was cutting edge if it could handle daily valuation of accounts rather than just “balance forward” processing—the term used to describe valuation updates that were processed monthly or less often. “Historically, it was about the differences in what platforms could handle—daily versus balance forward, defined benefit [DB] versus defined contribution [DC]—but today most systems can handle pretty much everything,” says Debbie Pritchard, vice president, who leads Schwab Retirement Technologies (SRT), a recordkeeping system provider, and is based in Phoenix, Arizona. “Today, choices are about volumes and customization and control. These, as well as cost, are the differentiators now.” Recordkeeping systems are not as varied as they used to be, but there are still questions plan sponsors need to ask.Read more >
Plan Participants’ Savings Increases Stall
Only 19% of Americans have increased the amount they are contributing to their retirement savings in the past year, a Bankrate.com survey found. In addition, 14% are saving less, and 55% are saving the same amount. Ten percent haven’t contributed anything in the past two years, the highest level since Bankrate.com started asking this question in polls accompanying its Financial Security Index in 2011.  Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
Research
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Administration
Addressing Forgotten Accounts Can Improve Retirement Savings Outcomes
Compliance
DOL Clears Up Timing for Lifetime Income Illustrations
PLANSPONSOR Research
PLANSPONSOR’s 2015 403(b)/457 Buyer’s Guide
Our 2015 403(b)/457 Buyer’s Guide shows the providers that service these two markets, what they focus on in terms of market segment, and the services they provide to plan sponsors.Read more >
Economic Events
Privately owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,206,000, according to the Census Bureau. This is 0.2% above the revised June estimate of 1,204,000 and is 10.1% above the July 2014 rate of 1,095,000. Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 782,000; this is 12.8% above the revised June figure of 693,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 413,000.
Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow was down 33.84 points (0.19%) at 17,511.34, the NASDAQ fell 32.35 points (0.64%) to 5,059.35, and the S&P 500 decreased 5.54 points (0.26%) to 2,096.90. The Russell 2000 lost 10.21 points (0.83%) to finish at 1,214.88, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 77.94 points (0.35%) lower at 22,063.71.

 

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with a nearly 2 to 1 lead for decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 2 to 1.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 6/32, increasing its yield to 2.194%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 27/32, bringing its yield up to 2.860%.

Compliance
Clearing Up Money Market Reform Misunderstanding
Some qualified retirement plan sponsors and service providers are misinterpreting the likely impact of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s money market fund reforms, opining the rulemaking will necessarily drive defined contribution (DC) plans away from retail money market funds. The SEC is focusing on educating the retirement planning industry about the likely impacts of money market fund reforms adopted in 2014.Read more >
From the Magazine
403(b) Plan Sponsors Seeking Guidance
With all the nuances of the 403(b) market, plan sponsors can be at a loss for how best to operate their plans, and many must lean on providers, advisers and/or legal counsel to navigate the landscape.Read more >
Small Talk
More than one-third of U.S. employees (39%) do not believe their bosses encourage them to take allotted vacation days, according to Randstad U.S.’ latest Employee Engagement Study. In addition, 45% of surveyed employees say their bosses do not help them disconnect from work while on vacation. Forty-one percent believe work/life balance is impossible to achieve.Read more >
ON THIS DATE: In 1812, during the War of 1812, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution defeated the British frigate Guerrière in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shots merely bounced off the Constitution‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood—giving the ship its nickname, “Old Ironsides.” In 1856, Gail Borden received a patent for his process of condensing milk by vacuum. In 1909, the first race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1929, “Amos and Andy,” the radio comedy program, made its debut on NBC, starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll. In 1934, Adolf Hitler, already chancellor, was elected president of Germany. In 1946, William Jefferson Blythe III (Bill Clinton) was born in Hope, Arkansas. In 1964, The Beatles kicked off their first U.S. tour at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. In 1999, Lorne Michaels received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2004, Google Inc. stock began selling on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. The initial price was set at $85 and ended the day at $100.34, with more than 22 million shares traded.
WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “All the world’s a stage, and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” —Sean O’Casey, Irish playwright
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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