Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 10th, 2014
Benefits & Administration
Financial Barriers Delay Retirement for Boomers
Baby Boomers are faced with a number of financial barriers, including lower investable assets and the increasing cost of health care, that are delaying retirement. Of those still working, more expect to retire after age 65 (43%) than before (16%), with just two in 10 (19%) expecting to retire at age 65. Many are concerned about meeting their financial needs in retirement as just one-third (38%) feel very or extremely confident about their retirement savings, two-thirds (62%) express some doubts, and a quarter (25%) are not too confident or not confident at all.  Read more >
Wellness Incentives Most Common Health Benefit Change
Research from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found most employers are not planning to make changes to eligibility for spousal coverage and part-time worker benefits, and less than one in ten are moving toward tiered networks (3.6%), private health insurance exchanges (3.2%), value-based insurance design (2.6%) and reference pricing (0.6%). Employers may be waiting for evidence from early adopters before making untested changes, EBRI says.  Read more >
Fed Data Shows Fewer Own DC Plan Accounts
The share of families with an individual account retirement plan is ticking down, but the assets in those plans are going up, according to a new analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The percentage of all families with plans such as a 401(k) or an individual retirement account (IRA) decreased from 52.8% in 2001 to 48.2% in 2013, based on the most recent data from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) from the Federal Reserve. Retirement plan ownership from a current employer among families declined from 2010 to 2013, but the percentage of family heads who were eligible for defined contribution (DC) plans and chose to participate held essentially stable at 78.2% in 2010, compared to 78.7% in 2013.Read more >
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Products, Deals & People
Geoff Rhines and David Anderson have joined SageView Advisory Group. Rhines, a retirement plan consultant, will be a member of the independent retirement advisory firm’s Georgia location and provide retirement plan advisory services to corporate fiduciaries. Anderson will serve as a retirement plan consultant and relationship manager.Read more >
Northern Trust Enhances Risk Reporting for Pensions
Northern Trust has enhanced its suite of asset-liability reporting solutions, enabling pension funds to gain deeper insights into their risk exposure with a cross-balance sheet view of their assets and liabilities.Read more >
Multnomah Group announced the addition of Amy Ouellette as a new investment consultant working out of the firm’s Portland, Oregon, office. She will provide consulting services to the firm’s clients in the Pacific Northwest.Read more >
Economic Events
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that October sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $454.6 billion, up 0.2% from the revised September level and up 4.3% from the October 2013 level. October sales of durable goods were up 0.8% from last month and were up 6.0% from a year ago. Sales of electrical and electronic goods were up 1.9% from last month. Sales of nondurable goods were down 0.3% from September, but were up 2.8% from last October. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 5.8% from last month, while sales of farm product raw materials were up 8.0%.
Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow was down 51.28 points (0.29%) at 17,801.20, the NASDAQ was up 25.77 points (0.54%) at 4,766.47, and the S&P 500 decreased by 0.49 (0.02%) to 2,059.82. The Russell 2000 climbed 20.85 points (1.79%) to 1,188.06, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 34.12 points (0.16%) lower at 21,616.03.

 

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.5 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for advancers.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 14/32, decreasing its yield to 2.210%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 25/32, bringing its yield down to 2.866%. 

Investing
TDFs Expected to Gain 90% of 401(k) Assets
A new analysis from Cerulli Associates finds the market for target-date funds (TDFs) is already highly competitive, given the industry’s expectations for future flows, and current trends suggest the competition will only intensify in the years ahead. “Target-date funds captured nearly 40% of flows in 2013, and we expect this number to more than double before the end of the decade,” explains Jessica Sclafani, senior analyst at Cerulli. These findings are from Cerulli’s latest report, “Retirement Markets 2014: Sizing Opportunities in Private and Public Retirement Plans,” which examines the size and segmentation of public and private U.S. retirement markets, including defined benefit (DB), defined contribution (DC) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).Read more >
Participants in defined contribution (DC) plans were light traders in November, with only two days of above-normal transfer activity, according to the Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index. This is a sharp contrast to October, which had seven above-normal days of trading, most of which were early in the month, following a sharp but short-lived increase in volatility in U.S. and global markets. However, November transfer activity was in line with the rest of 2014. Overall, November saw 0.023% of total assets traded, with slightly more (53%) trading days favoring fixed-income assets over equities.Read more >
Small Talk
Based on buying one of each of the gifts in the holiday classic, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the price tag for the PNC Christmas Price Index (CPI) is $27,673.21 in 2014, just $280.04 more than last year—the smallest increase since 2002, when the index fell 7.6%. Eight out of the 12 items in the index remained the same price as last year, but the “Six Geese-A-Laying” went up a whopping 71.4%. The only other increase of significance was the “Partridge in a Pear Tree,” which increased 33.3%, but is at a still-reasonable $20.Read more >
ON THIS DATE: In 1817, Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the 20th American state. In 1869, Wyoming territorial legislators passed a bill that was signed into law granting women the right to vote. In 1898, in France, the Treaty of Paris was signed, formally ending the Spanish-American War and granting the United States its first overseas empire. In 1901, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. In 1917, after three years of war, during which there had been no Nobel Peace Prize awarded, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the prize to the International Committee of the Red Cross. In 1920, the Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson for his work in ending the First World War and creating the League of Nations. In 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first “Play.boy” magazine with an investment of $7,600. In 1958, the first domestic passenger jet flight took place in the U.S. when 111 passengers flew from New York to Miami on a National Airlines Boeing 707. In 1967, a plane crash in Madison, Wisconsin, killed soul singer Otis Redding and members of the Bar-Kays band. In 2006, the San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson racked up his 29th touchdown of the year, breaking the National Football League (NFL) record for touchdowns scored during a single season.
WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.” —Miguel Angel Ruiz, Mexican shaman, teacher and author
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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