Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 20th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Mercer Encourages DB Sponsors to Act on Funded Status Improvements
Most defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors enjoyed significant funded status improvements in the first three quarters of 2018, according to Mercer. However, the beginning of the fourth quarter reminded plan sponsors of the potential equity volatility inherent to plan funded status performance and continued equity risk moving forward, including concerns of a potentially less accommodative Federal Reserve. Mercer says this highlights the question, “When is the right time to bank on funded status improvements?” In its “Top 10 Defined Benefit Areas of Focus for 2019,” Mercer suggests that whether a DB plan has a formal glide path in place or not, plan sponsors should take a fresh look at their current situation and risk posture and consider monitoring funded status more frequently to ensure opportunities are not missed, among other things. Read more >
Leader Involvement in Physical Wellness Programs Improves Participation and Cost Savings
Findings derived from the 2018 Progress Report for the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer show that well-being initiatives fare better when leaders are visibly supportive and involved. In particular, companies reported better outcomes when leaders recognize employees who have achieved success and when leaders actively participate in health and well-being initiatives themselves—two relatively simple and low-cost ways to boost performance. The report also found offering targeted lifestyle management services and having a formal, written strategic plan in place for well-being improve physical wellness program outcomes. Read more >
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Open MEPs Not for Every Plan Sponsor
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Single Pre-Retirees Want More Access to Financial Advice and Education
A new cut of survey data from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (SRI) shows four in ten single retirees believe their savings won’t last if they live to age 90, while just over one-third of married or partnered retirees feel the same way. Read more >
Economic Events

Existing-home sales increased in November, according to the National Association of Realtors, marking two consecutive months of increases. Three of four major U.S. regions saw gains in sales activity last month. Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.9% from October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.32 million in November. Sales are now down 7.0% from a year ago (5.72 million in November 2017).

Sponsored message from SEI
Plan Sponsor Finds Cost Effective Way to Simplify the DC Plan Lineup
Designing an investment strategy to help participants hit retirement goals at a lower cost. Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow lost 351.98 points (1.49%) to finish at 23,323.66, the NASDAQ closed 147.08 points (2.17%) lower at 6,636.83, and the S&P 500 decreased 39.20 points (1.54%) to 2,506.96. The Russell 2000 was down 27.95 points (2.03%) at 1,349.23, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 405.65 points (1.55%) to 25,752.59.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 12/32, bringing its yield down to 2.777%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 24/32, decreasing its yield to 2.986%.

Compliance
Most Counts Against GE Allowed to Proceed in ERISA Lawsuit
The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has ruled on the defense’s motions to dismiss a lawsuit filed by participants in the General Electric Company (GE) 401(k) Savings Plan, finding that just one claim out of eight should be dismissed ahead of the discovery process. The text of the ruling deals with the definition of ‘actual knowledge’ when determining timeliness of claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA)’s statute of limitations. Read more >
Bill Would Allow Use of Retirement Plans to Provide Student Loan Repayment Benefits
The Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act would permit 401(k), 403(b), and SIMPLE retirement plans to make matching contributions to workers as if their student loan payments were salary reduction contributions. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1606, the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery set sail from London. Their landing at Jamestown, Virginia, was the start of the first permanent English settlement in America. In 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In 1803, the United States Senate ratified a treaty that included the Louisiana Territories from France for $15 million. The transfer was completed with formal ceremonies in New Orleans. In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the American Union. In 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Georgia, as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his “March to the Sea.” In 1879, Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey. In 1946, the Frank Capra film “It’s A Wonderful Life” had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theatre, a day before its “official” world premiere. In 1963, the Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners. It was only for the holiday season. It closed again on January 6, 1964. In 1968, author John Steinbeck died at the age of 66. In 1989, General Noriega, Panama’s former dictator, was overthrown by a United States invasion force invited by the new civilian government. The project was known as Operation Just Cause. In 1990, the world’s first website and server go live at CERN. The first website was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. In 1998, in Houston, Texas, a 27-year-old woman gave birth to the first known living set of octuplets. In 2001, the U.S. Congress passed a $20 billion package to finance the war against terrorism taking place in Afghanistan.

 

 

There is no SURVEY SAYS this week.

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

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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