Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 14th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Pension Risk Transfer Decisions More than Financial
Selecting an insurer for pension risk transfer is a big decision, and a big commitment. The insurer’s financials are just a starting point. Plan sponsors need to assess how its retirees are going to be treated, educated and communicated with for years to come.Read more >
Employers are increasingly adopting automatic features, including voluntary increases, and employees are responding heartily, according to the most recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch Plan Wellness Scorecard. Employees are enthusiastically embracing their workplace financial benefit plans, with the number of first-time 401(k) savers growing 44% in the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2014.Read more >
Lawsuit Targets Fiduciaries of Hess Corp.
Understanding Investments and Fees: A Key Part of Plan Committee Education
Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
403(b) Sponsors Need Help with Fiduciary Duties
Of non-profit organizations that sponsor 403(b) retirement plans, 60% are reviewing and evaluating the investment options in their plans themselves, according to the latest 403(b) Snapshot Survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) and sponsored by the Principal Financial Group. That number falls to just 40% for sponsors of small plans (1 to 49 participants).Read more >
Results of a recent survey show employers could do more to educate employees about their medical benefits in retirement.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 >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
CBIZ makes another acquisition, Arnerich Massena names a division managing director and a new attorney joins Wagner Law Group.Read more >
Economic Events

The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.3% in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Final demand prices decreased 0.4% in October and 0.5% in September. In November, prices for final demand services advanced 0.5% and the index for final demand goods declined 0.1%.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for October, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,317.7 billion, down 0.2% from September and was down 2.7% from October 2014.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $448.1 billion, an increase of 0.2% from the previous month, and 1.4% above November 2014. Total sales for the September through November period were up 1.7% from the same period a year ago. The September to October percent change was unrevised from +0.1%.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the consumer price index for November. Wednesday, the Census Bureau will report about housing starts. Thursday, the Labor Department will release its initial claims report.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow shed 309.54 points (1.76%) to close at 17,265.21, the NASDAQ lost 111.71 points (2.21%) to finish at 4,933.47, and the S&P 500 closed 39.86 points (1.94%) lower at 2,012.37. The Russell 2000 fell 25.42 points (2.21%) to 1,123.60, and the Wilshire 5000 plummeted 412.01 points (1.96%) to 20,659.59.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 7 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 5 to 1 lead for decliners.

The yield of the 10-year Treasury note was 2.124%. The yield of the 30-year Treasury bond was 2.873%.
Change in Fiduciary Process Could Happen Soon
Bradford P. Campbell, counsel in Drinker, Biddle and Reath’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice Group, told attendees of a Drinker, Biddle and Reath Inside the Beltway webcast, sponsored by Natixis Global Asset Management, there are several things moving in Congress around the omnibus appropriation budget deal regarding the fiduciary rule. Several groups are concerned with where the proposal is heading, what’s in it and how fast it’s moving. The idea is that the budget deal is an example of must-pass legislation, so the president will likely sign it and not veto it.Read more >
Proper procedure is absolutely essential when it comes to fielding Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims, as one plan sponsor has had to learn the hard way.Read more >
From the Magazine
Potential Litigation Challenges to Fiduciary Rule
Approximately six months have passed since the Department of Labor (DOL)’s controversial re-proposal, on April 20, of the rule defining an investment advice fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Now that the comment period has come to an end and the DOL has turned its attention to the formulation of a final rule, many in the industry are beginning to ask questions about the potential grounds for a litigation challenge if that rule should prove to be as, or nearly as, unworkable as the re-proposal.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1799, U.S. President George Washington died at the age 67. In 1819, Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state. In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. He reached the destination 35 days ahead of Captain Robert F. Scott. In 1946, the U.N. General Assembly voted to establish the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City. In 1962, the U.S. space probe Mariner II approached Venus. It transmitted information about the planet’s atmosphere and surface temperature. In 1984, Howard Cosell retired from the NFL’s Monday Night Football. In 1995, AIDS patient Jeff Getty received the first-ever bone-marrow transplant from a baboon. In 1999, Charles M. Schulz announced he was retiring the “Peanuts” comic strip. The last original “Peanuts” comic strip was published on February 13, 2000.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Are you making New Year’s resolutions about your work with retirement plans or participants?” One-quarter of responding readers say they are not making any New Year’s resolutions about their work with retirement plans or participants. The top resolution being made by the rest of respondents was “get more input from participants about what they want or need.” This was followed by “delegate more work to team members so I can reduce my 24-hour work day,” “improve employee participation in their plan(s),” “provide more education to plan or investment committee members,” and “add general financial wellness to employee education offerings,” each selected by 20.8% of responding readers (respondents could choose more than one resolution). Among verbatim comments, one reader explained that he or she is not making any work resolutions for next year due to retiring December 31. Congratulations to that reader! A few commented about how resolutions usually get forgotten about. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I try to improve everything constantly throughout the year; I don’t wait until the first of the year to get it in gear.” A very big thank you to all who participated in our 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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