Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 10th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Institutionalizing DC Plans Can Add Fiduciary Protection
The institutionalization of defined contribution (DC) plans is gaining traction, and is yet another way plan sponsors can achieve their fiduciary responsibilities, experts say. Essentially, the institutionalization of DC plans means adopting some of the procedures of defined benefit (DB) plans as well as leading-edge best practices being used in DC plans. “The largest DB plans are very well run by highly expert executives who employ skillful consultants, asset managers and service providers bringing all of their professional expertise into their work,” says Randal McGathey, vice president, product marketing at Milestone Group in Boston. There is no reason why that approach cannot be adopted by DC plans, even mid-sized and small DC plans, he adds.Read more >
Affluence Does Not Quell Retirement Health Cost Fears
Pre-retirees among all financial statuses have fears about health costs in retirement, but they are not having the conversations needed to plan for them.Read more >
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New Financial Audit Rule Increases Requirements for Plan Sponsors
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2021 Recordkeeping Survey
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
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Participants Missing the Full Match Remains a Big Problem
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
“Inflection Points” Can Drive Targeted Communications
Defined contribution (DC) plan participant “inflection points” represent common events shared widely across peoples’ lives and which generally have a similar financial impact—getting married, buying a first home, starting a family. In a recent interview with PLANSPONSOR, Fredrik Axsater, State Street Global Advisors’ head of global defined contribution, says his firm has been thinking a lot about inflection points—especially how to take better advantage of them from a participant communication perspective. In short, he says, taking better advantage of data will be the key to truly leverage these retirement planning inflection points to boost retirement readiness for individuals and across real DC plan populations.Read more >
Americans Making More Financial Resolutions for 2016
The number of Americans ringing in the New Year by making financial resolutions is on the rise, with 37% considering one, compared to 31% in 2015, according to Fidelity Investments 7th annual New Year Financial Resolutions Study. For those identifying saving as a top priority, nearly two-thirds prefer to set aside money for long-term goals such as college, retirement, and health care.Read more >
Sponsored message from Russell Investments
Going passive is still an active decision
Are you meeting your fiduciary duty by offering a passive line-up to your DC plan participants? This paper provides an overview of several items to consider when selecting and monitoring plan investments.Read more >
PLANSPONSOR Research
2015 DC Survey Report Available
Just released in November 2015, the 2015 PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution Survey is now available in print format. Consisting of 20 pages of data and analysis, the survey is based on extensive information captured from approximately 5,109 U.S. defined contribution plan sponsors.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 $448.0 billion, virtually unchanged from the revised September level, but down 3.7% from the October 2014 level. October sales of durable goods were down 0.8% from last month and were down 2.2% from a year ago. Sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were down 2.6% from last month. Sales of nondurable goods were up 0.7% from September, but down 5.1% from last October. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were up 2.9% from last month and sales of paper and paper products were up 1.5%.

Employer costs for state and local government workers averaged $28.45 per hour worked for wages and salaries and $16.21 for benefits in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. State and local government health benefit costs averaged $5.20 per hour worked.

Market Mirror

A slump in several big technology companies left the stock market broadly lower at the closing bell, the Associated Press reported. The Dow was down 75.70 points (0.43%) at 17,492.30, the NASDAQ fell 75.38 points (1.48%) to 5,022.87, and the S&P 500 decreased 17.02 points (0.82%) to 2,046.57. The Russell 2000 closed 13.52 points (1.17%) lower at 1,145.87, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 170.20 points (0.80%) to finish at 21,022.75.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 3 declining issues for every 2 advancing issues. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 2/32, decreasing its yield to 2.216%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond slipped 7/32, increasing its yield to 2.970%.

Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In1817, Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the 20th American state. In 1869, women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory. In 1898, a treaty was signed in Paris that officially ended the Spanish-American War. In 1901, the first Nobel prizes were awarded. In 1906, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War. In 1931, Jane Addams became the first American female co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights. In 1950, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche became the first African-American to be presented the Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the prize for his efforts in mediation between Israel and neighboring Arab states. In 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first “Pla.yboy” 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 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
SURVEY SAYS: Commonly, individuals make New Year’s resolutions for improving personal health or finances. However, this week, I’d like to know, are you making New Year’s resolutions about your work with retirement plans or participants? I’ve listed a few possibilities, but you can also add your own. You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.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 alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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