Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 23rd, 2014
Benefits & Administration
The Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox are among the first teams to discontinue defined benefit (DB) pension plans for non-uniformed staff. According to the Los Angeles Times, Major League Baseball owners voted last January to allow individual teams to reduce or discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel.Read more >
Sponsored message from New York Life
PLANSPONSOR interviews Colette Sagar of New York Life Retirement Plan Services.Read more >
From the Magazine
Just out of Reish: A New Fiduciary Duty
With the aging of the Baby Boomers, as well as the growing reliance on 401(k) and 403(b) plans, the government is focusing on distributions from those plans. Or, better put, the government is focusing on whether participants are being given sufficient materials to make informed decisions about their four distribution options: leaving the money in the current plan, transferring it to a new employer’s plan, rolling it over to an individual retirement account (IRA), or taking a taxable distribution. The emerging consensus is that participants aren’t receiving meaningful data about those alternatives—or about what to consider when making a choice.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
A partnership with SyncStream Solutions will give CBIZ clients access to a CBIZ-branded, web-based technology tool that provides Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting and compliance knowledge, ACA collateral and education materials. Intended to minimize companies’ compliance risk, CBIZ ACA CheckPoint allows CBIZ clients to analyze, manage, track and report employee data in accordance with the ACA’s employer shared responsibility requirements. Read more >
The Principal Introduces Retirement Planner
The Principal Financial Group has introduced Retirement Wellness Planner, which includes interactive sliders, intuitive prompts and a real-time savings graph that focuses on monthly income in retirement and how long that income may last. Participants can take immediate action—such as increasing deferrals—within the planner itself. Detailed, participant-specific attributes—such as desired retirement age, employer match, salary and Social Security assumptions—are included in the planner. Users can adjust inputs to see immediately how changes would impact their monthly income in retirement.Read more >
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Economic Events
After hitting their highest level of the year, existing-home sales slid in November as housing supply showed some tightening, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions experienced a decline in sales compared to a month earlier. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million in November from a downwardly-revised 5.25 million in October. Sales dropped to their lowest annual pace since May (4.91 million) but are above year-over-year levels (up 2.1% from last November) for the second straight month.
Market Mirror

Yesterday, the Dow climbed 154.64 points (0.87%) to 17,959.44, the NASDAQ was up 16.04 points (0.34%) at 4,781.42, and the S&P 500 closed 7.89 points (0.38%) higher at 2,078.54. The Russell 2000 gained 5.92 points (0.49%) to finish at 1,201.86, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 83.69 points (0.39%) to 21,811.19.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.4 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.5 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 1/32, decreasing its yield to 2.160%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 7/32, bringing its yield down to 2.745%.

Compliance
Addressing Mistaken Tax Treatment of Employee Deferrals
An updated Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Web page tells retirement plan sponsors how to correct the mistake of using the wrong tax treatment of employee plan deferrals. The IRS says a common mistake it has encountered when employers have a Roth feature in their 401(k), 403(b) or governmental 457(b) plans, is that the employer does not follow the employee’s election as to whether deferrals are pre-tax or after-tax.Read more >
GAO Suggests Automatic Cash-Out Rule Changes
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says its analysis of retirement plan account balances that have been automatically rolled into individual retirement accounts (IRAs) shows that because fees outpaced returns in most of the IRAs analyzed, these account balances tended to decrease over time. “Without alternatives to forced-transfer IRAs, current law permits billions in participant savings to be poorly invested for the long-term,” the GAO contends in a report. The office recommends that Congress consider amending current law to permit alternative default destinations for plans to use when transferring participant accounts out of plans.Read more >
IRS Reminds Plan Sponsors About Plan Checklists
A retirement plan’s care should include a regular review of its basic operations, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS offers one-page checklists for SIMPLE IRAs, SEPs, SARSEPs, 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans to help plan sponsors start their review. Answering “no” to any checklist questions signals a potential mistake in plan operation. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1823, the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement C. Moore (” ‘Twas the night before Christmas…”) was published. In 1856, Ralph Collier was issued a U.S. patent for the first rotary egg beater with rotating parts. In 1913, the Federal Reserve Bill was signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The act established 12 Federal Reserve Banks. In 1972, in a controversial play that is known as the “Immaculate Reception,” rookie running back Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers grabbed a deflected pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw to score a touchdown, winning the game for the Steelers 13-7 over the Oakland Raiders. In 1986, after nine days and four minutes in the sky, the experimental aircraft Voyager landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the first nonstop flight around the globe on one load of fuel. 

 

TUESDAY TRIVIA: The best-selling Christmas toy in 1959 was the Barbie Doll—that was the year the doll launched into market.

 

TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What popular American toy was banned in Japan and Russia in the late 1950s?Read more >
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