Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 25th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Employer Health Insurance Deductibles Rise 50% for 2016
Although employers saw a slight reduction in healthcare costs this year, employees’ shares of rising deductible costs increased as they continue to accept lower coverage levels, finds the latest Health Plan Survey released by United Benefit Advisors (UBA), an independent employee-benefits advisory organization. The median in-network deductible on an employer-sponsored PPO health plan increased 50% from $1,000 to $1,500 in 2016, according to the survey. Average health plan costs for employers decreased from $9,736 in 2015 to $9,727 in 2016.  However, the employees’ share increased. Of the $9,727, employees contributed an average of $3,378 and employers contributed on average $6,350.Read more >
Less Than One-Third of Families on Track to Reach College Savings Goal
Seventy-two percent of American families are saving for their children’s higher education, a 24% increase from 58% in 2007, when Fidelity Investments’ College Savings Indicator Study was first published. More than two in five (41%) are invested in a 529 college savings plan, a 62% increase from the 26% measured in 2007. The median amount saved for college this year is still a modest $3,000, but this is double the figure from 2007. Among 529 plan owners, 45% have increased their contribution rate in the past 12 months. However, 49% are not sure they will reach their college savings goal, and only 29% are actually on track to achieve that goal.Read more >
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PLANSPONSOR Research
Third-Party Administrator Directory
Some say that third-party administrator (TPA) services can surpass what most recordkeepers offer to aid with plan design—and that this is broadening the TPA’s use in the retirement industry. To accompany our Third-Party Administrator (TPA) Survey that ran in the August issue of PLANSPONSOR, we have added an online directory that lists a variety of TPAs across the country with information about their services and plan sizes served.Read more >
Market Mirror
Yesterday, the Dow closed down 65.82 points (0.35%) at 18,481.48, the NASDAQ lost 42.38 points (0.81%) to finish at 5,217.69, and the S&P 500 was down 11.46 points (0.52%) at 2,175.44. The Russell 2000 lost 11.34 points (0.91%) to 1,237.24, and the Wilshire 5000 dropped 127.26 points (0.56%) to 22,592.20.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with declining issues leading advancing issues more than 2 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a 2 to 1 lead of decliners over advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 4/32, bringing its yield to 1.563%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond dropped 10/32, increasing its yield to 2.249%.

Compliance
Fidelity Faces Float Income Suit from HP, United Employees
Although Fidelity was recently successful in defending practices related to ownership of float income, a new proposed class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, accuses Fidelity of improperly handling “float income” that plaintiffs feel should be considered a plan asset and thus returned to plan accounts. The retirement plans in question are defined contribution (DC)-style plans known as the HP Plan and the UAL Ground Plan, qualified and defined under ERISA Section 3(34), 29 USC § 1003(34).Read more >
House Republicans’ Proposals Consolidate Retirement Provisions
Fundamental tax reform is “politically unlikely” and would largely depend on one party controlling the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidency, says Neuberger Berman in a recent analysis of House Republicans’ policy proposals. However, the firm says corporate tax reform is more likely considering “bipartisan agreement that something should be down about it.” The analysis shows that House Republicans’ tax and retirement policy proposals may suggest a push toward a universal savings account and a consolidation of current tax code retirement savings provisions and also predicts “small ball” proposals, such as MEPs may also be possible.Read more >
Small Talk
In 1718, Hundreds of colonists from France arrived in Louisiana. Some settled in present-day New Orleans. In 1814, the U.S. Library of Congress was destroyed by British forces. In 1875 Captain Matthew Webb swam from Dover, England, to Calais, France making him the first person to swim the English Channel. The feat took about 22 hours. In 1916 The National Park Service was established as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 1920, Ethelda Bleibtrey won the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition in Antwerp, Belgium. She was the first woman to win an Olympic competition for the U.S. In 1920, the first airplane to fly from New York to Alaska arrived in Nome. In 1921, the U.S. signed a peace treaty with Germany. In 1939, the movie “Wizard of Oz” opened around the United States. In 1941, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill appropriating funds for construction of the Pentagon. In 1944, Paris, France, was liberated by Allied forces ending four years of German occupation. In 1949, NBC Radio debuted “Father Knows Best.” The show went to TV in 1954. In 1950, U.S. President Truman ordered the seizure of U.S. railroads to avert a strike. In 1972, computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) was introduced in Great Britain. In 1981, the U.S. Voyager 2 sent back pictures and data about Saturn. The craft came within 63,000 miles of the planet. In 1988, Iran and Iraq began talks in Geneva after ending their eight years of war. In 1990, military action was authorized by the United Nations to enforce the trade embargo that had been placed on Iraq after their invasion of Kuwait. In 1991, Byelorussia declared independence from the Soviet Union. In 1992, it was reported by researchers that cigarette smoking significantly increased the risk of developing cataracts. In 1997, the tobacco industry agreed to an $11.3 billion settlement with the state of Florida.
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along—and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

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

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