Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 21st, 2015
Benefits & Administration
More Participants Find Provider Resources Helpful
A survey shows a significant jump in retirement plan participants’ perception of the helpfulness of provider resources for retirement planning, investing and saving. Quarterly statements from retirement plan providers continue to be seen as the most helpful resource, according to Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies’ 16th Annual Retirement Survey.Read more >
The Lincoln Electric Company, a subsidiary of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., has entered into an agreement to purchase a group annuity contract from The Principal Financial Group to settle $425 million of Lincoln Electric’s approximate $900 million in outstanding U.S. pension obligations. Under the agreement, The Principal will assume the obligation to pay future pension benefits starting November 1, 2015, for specified U.S. retirees and surviving beneficiaries who retired on or before June 1, 2015 and are currently receiving payments from Lincoln Electric’s U.S. Retirement Annuity Program (RAP).Read more >
Is the UAW’s Demand for Return of Pensions a Realistic Ask?
Deals and People
Voya Keeps Building Government Markets Team With Rehire
Data and Research
Unplanned Financial Challenges Continue to Plague US Workers’ Retirement Savings
Number of Cash Balance Plans Surged
The number of cash balance plans grew 32% in 2013 to reach 12,721, the most recent year for which Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting data is available, according to a report from Kravitz. Today, cash balance plans make up 28% of all defined benefit plans, up from just 2.9% in 2001. What is their appeal?Read more >
How did surveyed retirement plan participants surveyed say they want to receive education about their retirement plan, and about what do they need guidance?Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Salisbury Stepping Down as CEO of EBRI
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) opened for business on December 4, 1978. Its president and chief executive, Dallas Salisbury, became the face of the world of workplace retirement. Now, Salisbury is stepping down, and EBRI has named his replacement.Read more >
Asset International, Inc. (AI), parent company of PLANSPONSOR, announced the appointment of Joel Mandelbaum as CEO and president, and his purchase of a material investment interest in Asset International, Inc. “This is an exciting time for Asset International and its 11 business units to engage more thoroughly with our clients, with whom we already enjoy deep, broad and collaborative relationships. We are dedicated to helping our clients and, in turn, deepen and broaden their offerings to their clients,” he said.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending August 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 277,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 271,500, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.48 million in June, the National Association of Realtors announced. Sales in July remained at the highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million), have now increased year-over-year for 10 consecutive months and are 10.3% above a year ago (5.07 million).

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.93%, down from 3.94% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.15%, down from 3.17%.

Market Mirror

The U.S. stock market is closing with its worst performance in 18 months, driven lower by another slump in Chinese shares and heavy selling by technical traders, according to the Associated Press. The Dow fell 358.04 points (2.06%) to 16,990.69, the NASDAQ dove 141.56 points (2.82%) to 4,877.49, and the S&P 500 closed 43.85 points (2.11%) lower at 2,035.76. The Russell 2000 plunged 30.45 points (2.53%) to 1,172.53, and the Wilshire 5000 plummeted 479.67 points (2.19%) to 21,395.24.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, and on the NASDAQ, more than 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 5 to 1 on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 15/32, bringing its yield down to 2.076%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 15/32, decreasing its yield to 2.745%.

From the Magazine
TDF Focus: The Aggregation Effect
As of June 30, target-date funds (TDFs) in aggregate appear to have performed better for defined contribution (DC) participants on a short-term basis than what “do-it-yourself” investors could have achieved by allocating across major asset classes. This “aggregation effect” is apparent when measuring average performance (weighted by assets) of target-date mutual funds against two different metrics.Read more >
Using Alternatives to Diversify DC Participant Accounts
Alternative investments can be used by defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors to improve diversification, among other benefits, according to speakers at an OppenheimerFunds webinar. Speakers shared how alternatives can help, and a suggestion for how to include them in DC plans.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1841, a patent for venetian blinds was issued to John Hampton. In 1878, the American Bar Association was formed by a group of lawyers, judges and law professors in Saratoga, New York. In 1888, the adding machine was patented by William Burroughs. In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state. In 1984, Clint Eastwood was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was signed by U.S. President Clinton. In 1997, Cicely Tyson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998, Wesley Snipes received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Who says you can’t find a blue whale? The guy in this documentary with a blue whale behind him.Read more >
A weather report cannot get any more “real-time” than this.Read more >

In Prescott, Arizona, a couple says Facebook is discriminating against them for their last name—Avatar. Mr. Avatar and his wife say Facebook does not believe that is their real name and it is asking for proof. A local TV station called Facebook about the matter and the social media provider has promised to get their accounts up and running.

In Cape Coral, Florida, last week police issued a picture of a man who robbed a McDonald’s, asking for the public’s help in catching him. A few days later, a man matching the description went through the drive thru of the burglarized restaurant and started a conversation with an employee about the robbery. According to the local NBC News station, employees wrote down a description of the vehicle and its license plate number and reported it to police. The police picked up the man, who is serving prob.ation for another robbery charge.                    

In Lincoln County, Kentucky, police caught a man trying to dig up a grave he said was his father’s—in an attempt to finish an argument they had. Yes, alco.hol was involved.

It’s a tough situation when you’re trying to round up a litter of kittens.Read more >

In Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a woman in an assisted living facility discovered about $8,000 worth of her jewelry was missing. The woman noticed a nurse’s aide wearing a pair of her large, diamond stud earrings. She called police, who tracked down the woman and asked her for an interview. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the woman wore the same pair of earrings to the police interview. The woman said she was given the diamonds as a gift from her daughter’s aunt, but when pressed further, she said it was possible the diamonds were from her former patient’s collection.                 

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a couple of would-be thieves probably thought they would meet little resistance at a convenience store because they were armed with a sword. However, the cashier pulled out a bigger sword, and the two criminals went running. One guy even dropped a pile of t-shirts he was planning to take, according to

In Altamonte Springs, Florida, regarding the latest entry for Mother of the Year—NOT!—police said a 38-year-old woman drove to the Cheers bar on State Road 434 and made her children wait in the car while she went inside to drink. When she returned to her car and began to drive home, her children said they were afraid for their safety. According to the local CBS News station, the woman came to a stop on State Road 436 and the children got out of the vehicle. They told police they tried to reason with their mother, but she sped away and left them on the sidewalk.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
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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