Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 31st, 2015
Benefits & Administration
QLACs Can Reduce Longevity Risk for Some
Longevity reduces retirement readiness for retirement plan participants, and purchasing a qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC) can help, according to an analysis from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). EBRI found that, even at today’s historically low interest rates, the transfer of longevity risk provides a significant increase in retirement readiness for those who live the longest.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Retirement Industry People Moves
New hires and promotions at Northern Trust and Associated Bank.Read more >
Pilot Claims American Airlines Prioritized ‘Underperforming’ ESG Funds
Data and Research
Retirement Racial Wealth Gap Disproportionately Impacts Black, Hispanic Americans
Ask the Experts
When Does a New Plan Have to Meet SECURE 2.0 Mandates?
Economic Events
THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about construction spending for July, and Wednesday, it will report about factory orders for July. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the unemployment rate for August.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow was down 11.76 points (0.07%) to 16,643.01, the NASDAQ closed 15.62 points (0.32%) higher at 4,828.32, and the S&P 500 slipped 1.89 points (0.10%) to 1,985.77. The Russell 2000 increased 9.32 points (0.81%) to 1,162.92, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 46.81 points (0.22%) at 20,968.31.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, and on the NASDAQ, nearly 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues nearly 2 to 1 on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note slipped 1/32, increasing its yield to 2.187%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 8/32, bringing its yield down to 2.914%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending August 28, the Dow gained 1.11%, the NASDAQ climbed 2.60%, and the S&P 500 increased 0.74%. The Russell 2000 was up 0.53%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 0.95% higher.

Understanding the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) focuses on identifying potential areas of non-compliance and educating plan sponsors. During a webcast Craig Chomyok, manager of the Employee Plans Compliance Unit at the IRS Office of Employee Plans in Chicago, and one of his colleagues discussed how the EPCU works and how compliance checks have helped plan sponsors.Read more >
Webcast to Cover Updates to Employee Plans Program
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a webcast in September to discuss updates to its employee plans programs, including new pre-approved plans.Read more >
From the Magazine
How to Avoid Using the Wrong Definition of Compensation
Many employers have a significant number of pay codes, used for overtime or time-off calculations; this makes it more challenging to ensure all are programmed correctly to calculate deferrals, says Jared Rosen, a principal in the audit and accounting group of Ellin & Tucker in Baltimore. “This is the primary compliance issue we see in our plan audits,” he says.Read more >
401(k) Participants React Visibly to Market Dip
Data from the Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index, which tracks the investment activity of 1.5 million 401(k) investors, shows trading in 401(k) accounts spiked with recent market swings. On Friday August 21, according to Aon Hewitt, trading activity among retirement plan participants was twice the normal level. Activity on the following Monday was seven times the norm, making for “one of the highest trading days on record,” Aon Hewitt notes.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1888, serial kil.ler Jack the Rip.per claimed his first victim in London. In 1897, Thomas Edison received a patent for his movie camera, the Kinetograph. In 1920, the first news program to be broadcast on radio was aired on station 8MK in Detroit, Michigan. In 1920, John Lloyd Wright was issued a patent for “Toy-Cabin Construction,” also known as Lincoln Logs. (U.S. patent 1,351,086). In 1959, Brooklyn Dodgers left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax struck out 18 batters, setting a new National League record for most strikeouts in a single game. In 1965, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was created by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. In 1994, a cease-fire was declared by the Irish Republican Army after 25 years of bloo.dshed in Northern Ireland. In 1994, Russia officially ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltics after a half-century.
SURVEY SAYS: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “How panicked did you feel during the dramatic slump, and did you communicate with participants to try to calm their fears?” More than 2% of responding readers indicated they felt very panicked, while three in 10 (31.7%) felt somewhat panicked, and nearly two-thirds (65.8%) said they didn’t feel panicked at all. The majority of respondents (82.9%) did not communicate with retirement plan participants to try to calm their fears, and 17.1% reported that they did. In verbatim comments, several readers noted that it wasn’t panic they felt, but some other slightly less negative emotion. There were readers who gave their advice for handling steep market dives, but many said they did not hear from any panicked retirement plan participants. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “For those who can’t stand rollercoasters—don’t look at your account balance!”  That was my strategy. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey!Read more >
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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