Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 1st, 2014
Benefits & Administration
CalPERS Reports Cost-Cutting Actions
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced efforts that have saved the pension fund more than $162 million in the last three fiscal years. Between fiscal year 2011-12 and 2013-14, CalPERS achieved savings in its investment, health care, and information technology programs.Read more >
ERIC Encourages PBGC to Support Pension De-Risking
In September, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) said it intends to revise the 2015 premium filing procedures and instructions to, among other things, require reporting of certain undertakings by defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors to cash out or annuitize benefits for a specified group of former employees. In a comment letter, the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) explains that plan sponsors can increase the strength and longevity of their DB plans through a variety of de-risking methods, and the PBGC, accordingly, should support the efforts of companies that continue to sponsor and/or administer defined benefit plans.Read more >
Sponsored message from The Newport Group
Newport #1 in “Best in Class” Awards in 2014 PLANSPONSOR DC Survey
The Newport Group, a national provider of retirement and executive benefit plans, is #1 in “Best in Class” awards in PLANSPONSOR magazine’s 2014 Defined Contribution Survey. Newport earned a record 72 awards-more than any other provider in the retirement industry.Read more >
Economic Events
Sales of new single-family houses in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.7% above the revised September rate of 455,000 and is 1.8% above the October 2013 estimate of 450,000. New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased $1.0 billion or 0.4% to $243.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, followed a 0.9% September decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.9%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.6%. Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, drove the increase, $2.5 billion or 3.4% to $76.3 billion.
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2021 Participant Survey

In the week ending November 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 313,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 294,000, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week’s revised average.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.97%, down from 3.99% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.17%, unchanged from a week ago.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about construction spending for October. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report. Friday, we’ll learn the unemployment rate for November from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau will report about factory orders for October.

Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow increased by 0.49 to 17,828.24, the NASDAQ was up 4.31 points (0.09%) at 4,791.63, and the S&P 500 was down 5.27 points (0.25%) at 2,067.56. The Russell 2000 fell 17.39 points (1.46%) to 1,173.23, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 95.06 points (0.44%) lower at 21,731.18.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.6 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The yields for the 10-year Treasury note and 30-year Treasury bond were 2.168% and 2.894%, respectively.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending November 28, the Dow increased 0.10%, the NASDAQ climbed 1.67%, and the S&P 500 gained 0.20%. The Russell 2000 was up 0.07%, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 0.16% higher. 

Compliance
Judge Orders Fee Case Evidence Be Given to the DOL
A federal district court has approved the Department of Labor’s motion to intervene in a 401(k) excessive fee case. In its reply in support of its motion to intervene in the case against Northrop Grumman, the Department of Labor (DOL) noted that its Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigation and the litigation are substantially similar since they both involve questions related to the administration of the plan, including an examination of expenses paid by the plan and whether those expenses are reasonable.Read more >
Mandatory Plan Restatements a Plan Design Opportunity
As employers enter the last two years of the preapproved retirement plan restatement cycle, ERISA consultants say restatements are a critical opportunity to realign plan documents and operations. “I think the key piece of advice to give to the plan sponsor and adviser communities is that everyone should approach the mandatory restatements as an opportunity—not as some difficult task that must be completed as quickly or painlessly as possible,” Adam C. Pozek, partner at DWC ERISA Consultants, tells PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Ask the Experts – Ongoing Notice Requirements
“I realize there is an important upcoming deadline for certain plan notices—the QDIA, automatic enrollment, and ADP/ACP safe harbor plan notices—all of which are due to be distributed to  participants by December 2. In addition to the annual distribution of these notices are there any ongoing notice requirements? Do I need to provide some or all of these notices to new hires?”Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1824, as no presidential candidate had received a majority of the total electoral votes in the election, Congress decided to turn over the presidential election to the House of Representatives, as dictated by the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States, received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes. In 1835, Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales. In 1913, the first drive-in automobile service station opened, in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1913, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. His innovation reduced the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to two hours and 30 minutes. In 1959, twelve nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, signed the Antarctica Treaty, which banned military activity and weapons testing on that continent. It was the first arms control agreement signed in the Cold War period. In 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks was jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, a violation of the city’s racial segregation laws.
SURVEY SAYS REWIND: In 2004, we asked NewsDash readers if it was time to give up on DB plans—or to give them a helping hand.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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