Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 19th, 2014
Benefits & Administration
New Vision of Retirement Calls for New Workplace Model
A survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that for most Baby Boomer workers, retirement is no longer a point in time at which one immediately stops working. Sixty-eight percent envision a phased transition into retirement during which they will either continue working, reduce hours with more leisure time to enjoy life, or work in a different capacity that is less demanding and/or brings greater personal satisfaction. Only 21% expect to stop working completely right when they retire.Read more >
Targeted Education Quells Fears About Employee Savings
A recent survey by the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), sponsored by The Principal, found 27% of nonprofits believe they have a responsibility to encourage employees to save for retirement, and one-quarter believe they have that responsibility but would like to do more. Aaron Friedman, national tax-exempt practice leader at The Principal, in Shelton, Connecticut, says plan sponsors that want to do more can use plan design provisions such as automatic enrollment—at a higher default percentage than 3%—and automatic deferral escalation to encourage employees to save. In addition, targeted education is very effective at getting people to save or save more, he tells PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
Sponsored message from Vanguard
The Washington Connection: Key issues in the run-up to mid-terms
In the newest “Washington Connection” installment, Ann Combs, head of Vanguard Government Relations, offers insight on the latest legislative and regulatory issues from our nation’s capital.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Mercer has launched Mercer BenefitsCentral, a digital experience for its U.S. Large Market Benefits Administration clients and their employees. BenefitsCentral provides inquiry and transaction capabilities across all desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, enabling participants to manage benefits anytime, anywhere, with a consistent experience no matter the device.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
IRS Updates Life Expectancy Tables for Retirees
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
Transamerica Hires Defined Benefit Practice Leader
Transamerica Retirement Solutions hired Mark Valentine as vice president of defined benefit sales and business development for the East Coast. Valentine will lead Transamerica’s efforts to assist clients in addressing challenges, such as risk management, estimating and calculating benefits, budgeting for benefit expenditures, fiduciary liability, and efficient data management.Read more >
QBI, a provider of administration and consulting services for qualified retirement plans, launched a new service providing 3(16) fiduciary support to plan sponsors. The program allows employers to address their fiduciary risk and liability by appointing a qualified professional to oversee plan operations and introduce plan management controls.Read more >
PSA Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. (PSA) hired David Saunders, II, as a senior investment consultant and Victor Traub, III, as a senior relationship manger within its Fiduciary Consulting Group. The new hires will bolster PSA’s retirement planning practice and strategic partnership with retirement plan consulting firm The PFE Group. Saunders’ responsibilities will include evaluation, analysis and selection of investment managers for retirement plans, as well as counseling retirement plan committees on investment structures.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 289,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 298,750, a decrease of 750 from the previous week’s revised average.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.80%, down from 3.93% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.09%, down from 3.20%.

Market Mirror

Good news about the economy continued to boost major U.S. stock indices. The Dow soared 421.28 points (2.43%) to 17,778.15, the NASDAQ climbed 104.08 points (2.24%) to 4,748.40, and the S&P 500 grew by 48.34 points (2.40%) to reach 2,061.23. The Russell 2000 increased 17.33 points (1.47%) to 1,192.16, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 474.72 points (2.24%) to finish at 21,633.30.

On the NYSE, 3.3 billion shares changed hands, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues more than 4 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a more than 3 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 20/32, bringing its yield up to 2.208%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 28/32, increasing its yield to 2.820%.

Treasury Issues Final myRA Regs
The Bureau of the Fiscal Service, part of the Treasury Department, says a new nonmarketable electronic retirement savings bond is now available through designated custodians serving Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs) established under the myRA program. The bonds are designed to protect the principal contributed while earning interest at a rate previously available only to federal employees invested in the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund) of the Thrift Savings Plan.Read more >
Most New DC Participants Use TDFs or Balanced Funds
A new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and the Investment Company Institute (ICI) finds 401(k) plan design changes have led to substantial popularity for balanced funds, especially target-date funds (TDFs). The study, “401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2013,” finds that nearly two-thirds of recently hired 401(k) participants were invested in balanced funds at year-end 2013, compared with less than one-third of recently hired participants at year-end 1998. In addition, among recent hires investing in balanced funds, EBRI and ICI say more than three-quarters had invested more than 90% of their 401(k) account in such funds at year-end 2013.Read more >
Small Talk
Want your child to get a letter back from Santa? Here are instructions from the U.S. Postal Service.Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1732, Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia first published Poor Richard’s Almanack. In 1917, the National Hockey League (NHL) opened its first season. In 1918, Robert Ripley began his “Believe It or Not” column in “The New York Globe.” In 1972, the Apollo lunar-landing program ended when the last three astronauts to travel to the moon splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean. Apollo 17 had lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, 10 days before. In 1998, after nearly 14 hours of debate, the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, charging him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a $17.4 billion rescue package of loans for ailing automobile makers General Motors and Chrysler.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

An elephant with a conscience for littering.Read more >
This video shows some very cool animated optical illusions.Read more >

In Omaha, Nebraska, police said an officer on patrol spotted a vehicle straddling the center line with four flat tires and a deployed airbag, the World-Herald reports. The officer attempted to stop the driver, but the motorist refused to pull over, and a low-speed chase ensued. The driver was finally stopped, but police had to use a Taser on him to take him into custody. He was taken to a hospital, where a preliminary test revealed a blood-alcohol level of .253. It was his fourth DUI arrest.

In Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand, a series of events led a couple to believe they were stuck in their newly-purchased Mazda3 hatchback with no way of escape: the remote keyless entry fob was outside the car, and the car manual was left in the house. According to The News Wheel, rather than thinking to unlock the vehicle the traditional way, the couple attempted to break through the glass with a car jack (which failed due to their weakened state) and honked the horn to try to get someone’s attention (which failed, because it was Guy Fawkes Day and celebratory fireworks were too loud). The couple was discovered by neighbors at 7:45 the next morning, with the wife unconscious and the husband struggling to breathe. The couple blamed much of it on their confusion about how keyless entry works, pointing to their dealership salesman who supposedly told them the car wouldn’t work without the transponder. The husband said he “kicked himself” for not realizing how easy it was to get out. “I had this mind-set that I did not have the transponder [so I could not get out].”

Cats and Christmas trees do not mix.Read more >

In Brisbane, Australia, a teenager called police at about 1.30 a.m. one morning after hearing loud sounds coming from his kitchen and thinking it was an intruder. However, when the police arrived, there was no intruder found; it was a large mudcrab that was trying to get out of the kitchen and was banging into walls.

In Vladivostok, Russia, a cat was spotted in the display window of a fish store at the airport there. According to UPI, the cat made a meal of squid, flounder and dry fish. The store said its losses from the cat’s unsanctioned feast totaled about $1,000. An airport representative said officials have not determined how the cat was able to get into the fish store.

Have a great weekend everyone!
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 >

News from


Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2014.

All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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