Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 16th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Improved Retirement Plan Communication Can Boost Confidence
DC plan participants are not very confident about saving enough for retirement, and providers are recognizing ways to boost website and digital communications to address this, a study finds. Read more >
The Case for the Traditional K-12 403(b) Model
Recently, articles in the New York Times focused on what it called problems with 403(b) plans for K-12 public school districts. K-12 403(b) plans often have annuity contracts, thousands of investment options and hundreds of providers in which individual participants have directed their deferrals and savings into providers they picked, often after the sales rep visited the workplace. Ellie Lowder, tax-exempt and governmental plan consultant at TSA Consulting and Training Services, notes that elements of the traditional model for K-12 403(b) plans provide motivation to participate and needed financial help, but there is also room for moving to some lower-cost investment options in these plans. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
AT&T Sued Over Calculation of Early Retirement Benefits
2
Congressional Leaders Want SECURE Act Passage in 2019
3
New Lawsuit Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity for Retirement Plans
4
IRS Releases 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan
5
DC Plans 3.0 Will Really be Tailored to Individual Situations
Webcast Replay
Are you aware that you can allow your participants to make a positive social and/or environmental impact through your DC plan? We refer to this approach as Sustainable Investing which can allow investors to make a positive impact without sacrificing competitive potential performance opportunity. Listen to a replay of a webcast about Sustainable Investing which discusses current trends and performance myths, and provides an overview of the solutions appropriate for retirement plans. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
CBIZ Employee Services Organization, a provider of benefits and insurance services, has launched CBIZ ESO Access. This customized benefits portal allows employees to enroll in all their benefits including medical, dental, vision, and short- and long-term disability insurance products, as well as financial benefits such as health reimbursement arrangements (HRA), health savings accounts (HSAs), and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Read more >
Investment Products and Services
Hartford Funds reduces dees for strategic beta ETFs; John Hancock launches ESG-focused funds; Nuveen introduces ESG-focused ETFs. Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 254,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 258,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 257,750, an increase of 5,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 252,500. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% in November after rising 0.4% in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2% in November after increasing 0.1% in October.

Real average hourly earnings decreased 0.4% in November, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings decreased 0.1%, and CPI-U increased 0.2%. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.3% over the month.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.16%, up from 4.13% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.37%, up from 3.36%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 59.71 points (0.30%) to finish at 19,852.24, the NASDAQ closed 20.18 points (0.37%) higher at 5,456.85, and the S&P 500 was up 8.75 points (0.39%) at 2,262.03. The Russell 2000 increased 10.39 points (0.77%) to 1,366.41, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 92.23 points (0.39%) to 23,636.41.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded with a 1.3 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with 3 advancing issues for every 2 declining issues.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 7/32, bringing its yield up to 2.601%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 12/32, bringing its yield down to 3.164%.

Compliance
Both the DOL and IRS Are Stepping Up Their Audits
Industry experts share red flags and focuses of DOL and IRS scrutiny of retirement plans. Read more >
Investing
Use of ESG Factors Growing Among Institutional Investors
In 2016, 37% of institutional investors have “incorporated ESG factors into decision making,” up from 29% in 2015 and 22% in 2013, according to Callan’s fourth annual survey to assess the status of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factor integration in the U.S. institutional market. The greatest barrier to funds incorporating ESG into investment decision making continues to be a lack of clarity over the value proposition. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1773, nearly 350 chests of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor off of British ships by Colonial patriots. The patriots were disguised as Indians. The act was to protest taxation without representation and the monopoly the government granted to the East India Company. In 1901, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time. In 1905, Sime Silverman published the first issue of “Variety”. In 1944, during World War II, the Battle of the Bulge began in Belgium. It was the final major German counteroffensive in the war. In 1972, the Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go unbeaten and untied in a 14-game regular season. The Dolphins went on to defeat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. In 1998, Eric Michelman filed the earliest patent for a scroll wheel for a computer mouse. In 1999, Sigourney Weaver received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, U.S. President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to be the first African-American secretary of state.

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

This dog found a clever way to find playmates. Read more >
This poor kitty can’t enjoy the snow without his aggravating dog sibling. Read more >
In Kingman, Arizona, The Prestons Family Christmas Light Show will be featured on this year’s The Great Christmas Light Fight Series on ABC. Read more >

In Danville, Kentucky, two men were sitting in a car outside of a barbeque restaurant discussing robbing the place, when one of their phones accidentally dialed 911. The dispatcher listened in to the call and , and authorities determined where the call originated and contacted Danville police chief Tony Gray, who, as it turned out, was enjoying a meal inside the mentioned restaurant. The Huffington Post reports the two men were located inside the vehicle and got into more trouble because they were into.xicated.

In Miami, Florida, a man robbed a store disguised with only a bucket on his head. But, the interesting part is, he was stealing pigeons.

In Fort Myers, Florida, a woman and her boyfriend got into a fight. The girlfriend grabbed a knife and as the boyfriend tried to get it from her, he was cut. What was the argument about? According to the Associated Press, the boyfriend wouldn’t pay for the girlfriend to have her hair and nails done for her birthday. The girlfriend was charged with battery.

In Burleson, Texas, a man who looks like Santa was asked to leave Six Flags Over Texas. The man says his outfit is not a costume; his beard is real and his glasses are prescription. He also says he wears the same hat and red vest every day throughout the holidays everywhere he goes. The man got in trouble after he says a woman asked him to pose for a picture with her children. “Knelt down, put my arms around them, and afterward I reached in my wife’s walker, pulled out two candy canes, handed it to them,” he says, according to the local CBS News station. He said he was then approached by park security. The man says he does not approach children; the parents come to him.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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