Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 29th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Retained and Invested HSA Assets Grow
Through the first half of 2018, total contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) were $19,753,000,000, while withdrawals totaled $13,695,000,000, revealing retained assets so far this year of $6,058,000,000, or 31% of balances, according to Devenir’s 2018 Midyear HSA Market Statistics & Trends. Those who have HSA assets invested have a $16,007 average total balance, more than eight times larger than a non-investment holder’s average account balance, Devenir finds. Read more >
Weyerhaeuser Takes Steps to Reduce Pension Liabilities
The company is offering a lump-sum window, transferring some liabilities to a group annuity, making a contribution to its pension plan and transitioning to a liability-matching investment allocation. Read more >
OneAmerica Participant Survey Highlights Pervasive Student Debt Challenges
Results of the latest OneAmerica client plan participant survey show student debt is a widespread challenge facing U.S. workers as they contemplate retirement savings. Nearly four in 10 workers indicate they are paying toward a student loan for themselves or on behalf of someone else. “Of those, an astounding 85% of respondents paying toward student loans reported that their obligation to repay the funds are impacting their ability to prepare for retirement,” warns Marsha Whitehead, OneAmerica vice president of enterprise marketing. The survey examines other topics relating to participant financial wellness, including health care expenses and the use of health savings accounts as short- and long-term savings vehicles. Read more >
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Ask the Experts
Loan Defaults and Non-Military Leaves of Absence
“The cure period where a loan repayment was not made prior to a military leave, but a default has not yet taken place, is extended by the length of the military leave so that no loan payments are due even though the loan was not current when the leave commenced. Would the same extension apply for a non-military leave, or would a clock on the cure period keep ticking during a non-military leave of absence until a loan repayment was made?” Read more >
Economic Events

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in August, following a modest increase in July. The Index now stands at 133.4 (1985=100), up from 127.9 in July. The Present Situation Index improved from 166.1 to 172.2, while the Expectations Index increased from 102.4 last month to 107.6 this month.

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Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow was up 14.38 points (0.06%) at 26,064.02, the NASDAQ increased 12.14 points (0.15%) to 8,030.04, and the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 2,897.53. The Russell 2000 was also virtually unchanged at 1,728.42, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 20.50 points (0.07%) at 30,201.93.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 17/32, bringing its yield up to 2.879%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 14/32, increasing its yield to 3.033%.

Compliance
IRS Again Extends Closed DB Plan Nondiscrimination Relief
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has published an additional extension of temporary nondiscrimination relief for closed defined benefit (DB) plans through 2019. A significant number of DB plans have been closed to new entrants, and the plan sponsor of a closed DB plan typically provides a defined contribution (DC) plan for its new hires. Under these arrangements, in the early years after the DB plan has been closed to new entrants, the plan may be able to satisfy the coverage requirement of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 410(b) without being aggregated with the DC plan. However, the Section 410(b) minimum coverage test typically becomes more difficult for the closed DB plan to satisfy over time, as grandfathered employees in the old system typically build seniority and become more highly compensated than younger workers entering the DC plan. Read more >
SOA Proposes New Public Pension Mortality Tables
The Society of Actuaries (SOA) said it developed the new tables once it was determined that public pensions have differing levels of mortality than private pensions. It is soliciting comments on its proposal. Read more >
Small Talk
Two surveys from CareerBuilder caution job applicants to be careful about what they include on their resumes and what they post on Social Media. One survey found that among human resource managers, who are typically the ones who determine which applicants get in front of the actual hiring managers, 75% have caught a lie on a resume. Some resumes were just not believable at all. A separate CareerBuilder survey found 70% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates (on par with last year), while 7% plan to start. Of those that do social research, 57% have found content that caused them not to hire candidates. Employers shared what they are looking for on resume or social media site and what resume and social media actions can lead—or have led—them not to hire an applicant. Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1886, in New York City, Chinese Ambassador Li Hung-chang’s chef invented chop suey. In 1892, Pop (Billy) Shriver (Chicago Cubs) caught a ball that was dropped from the top of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. In 1944, during the continuing celebration of the liberation of France from the Nazis, 15,000 American troops marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris. In 1945, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur left for Japan to officially accept the surrender of the Japanese. In 1949, at the University of Illinois, a nuclear device was used for the first time to treat cancer patients. In 1971, Hank Aaron became the first baseball player in the National League to hit 100 or more runs in each of 11 seasons. In 1977, Lou Brock brought his total of stolen bases to 893. The record he beat was held by Ty Cobb for 49 years. In 1982, the Swedish-born actress and three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman died of cancer in London on her 67th birthday. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane.


WEDNESDAY WISDOM:
“A [person] is what he thinks about all day long.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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