Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 23rd, 2016
2016 Defined Contribution Survey
2016 Defined Contribution Survey
PLANSPONSOR’s annual Defined Contribution (DC) Survey provides important client satisfaction information, as it measures and evaluates 401(k) and other DC providers according to feedback from our own plan sponsor clients. Major defined contribution providers are rated in the various client categories they serve, and benchmark information is collected for plan sponsors to gauge their plans against their peers.Read more >
Third-Party Administrator Buyer’s Guide
Third-Party Administrator Buyer’s Guide
Some say that third-party administrator (TPA) services can surpass what most recordkeepers offer to aid with plan design—and that this is broadening the TPA’s use in the retirement industry. Our first annual PLANSPONSOR Third-Party Administrator Buyer’s Guide provides a detailed snapshot of each TPA respondent, revealing, by its numbers, how it compares with peers in the overall market landscape.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Recordkeeping Survey
The market’s growth has manifested itself with more recordkeeping assets concentrated in the 20 largest providers. This trend also highlights the homogenization and commoditization of a growing number of recordkeeper services that were considered added value just ten years ago. Although providers in the 2016 PLANSPONSOR Recordkeeping Survey are ranked according to various criteria, none of the rankings can definitively answer the question of whether bigger recordkeepers are better recordkeepers.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 275,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 254,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 263,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 257,750. 

New orders for manufactured durable goods in November decreased $11.0 billion or 4.6% to $228.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This decrease, down following four consecutive monthly increases, followed a 4.8% October increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 6.6%. Transportation equipment, also down following four consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $11.7 billion or 13.2% to $76.6 billion.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.30%, up from 4.16% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.52%, up from 3.37%.
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow decreased 23.08 points (0.12%) to 19,918.88, the NASDAQ closed 24.01 points (0.44%) lower at 5,447.42, and the S&P 500 slipped 4.22 points (0.19%) to 2,260.96. The Russell 2000 was down 12.54 points (0.91%) at 1,362.65, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 72.45 points (0.31%) to close at 23,628.30.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, with 1.4 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares traded with a nearly 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 3/32, increasing its yield to 2.549%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 10/32, bringing its yield up to 3.126%.
Participant Survey
Participant Survey
The PLANSPONSOR Participant Survey examines the attitudes and behaviors of American workers participating—or not—in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. It gathers data about savings rates, employer expectations and confidence levels, among other measures.Read more >
Health Savings Account Buyer’s Guide
Health Savings Account Buyer’s Guide
With HSA’s increasingly described as a retirement savings vehicle for medical expenses, PLANSPONSOR”S guide provides guidance on HSA providers. This greater valuing of health insurance by employees, coupled with growing health care costs that continue to surpass the rate of inflation, has increased employers’ adoption of health savings accounts (HSAs) alongside consumer-directed high-deductible health care plans (HDHPs).Read more >
Stock Plan Administration Buyer’s Guide
Stock Plan Administration Buyer’s Guide
PLANSPONSOR contacted leading providers of stock plan administration services in June and received a total of eight responses by the survey deadline. The questionnaire explored each provider’s experience and capabilities in servicing both full and partially outsourced equity compensation plans. A summary of each provider’s response is included. All data presented are as of December 31, 2015.Read more >
Third-Party Administrator Survey
PLANSPONSOR’s first annual Third-Party Administrator (TPA) Survey questionnaire was distributed to approximately 1,070 known TPAs that serve the qualified and/or nonqualified retirement plan markets. A total of 128 responses were received by the June survey deadline. The survey questionnaire was brief and was designed to gather high-level information pertaining to each TPA firm’s size, service and capabilities in order to provide a sense of the overall TPA market landscape.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1783, George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon, after the disbanding of his army following the Revolutionary War. In 1788, Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government. About two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia. 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 1922, the British Broadcasting Corporation began daily news broadcasts. In 1942, Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. airmen in Alaska. It was the first of the traditional Christmas shows. In 1951, a National Football League (NFL) championship game was televised nationally for the first time. The Los Angeles Rams beat the Cleveland Browns 24-17. The DuMont Network had paid $75,000 for the rights to the game. In 1954, the Walt Disney movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” was released. In 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Oakland Raiders 13-7 in an NFL playoff game on a last-second play that was dubbed the “Immaculate Reception.” Pittsburgh’s Franco Harris caught a deflected pass and ran it in for the winning touchdown. In 1997, Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
Except for one obvious advert, here are some cool holiday hacks.Read more >
This gift is not recommended for grandparents, unless you want to give them a heart attack.Read more >

In Hudson, New York, police broke into a parked car to rescue what looked like an unresponsive elderly woman, who passersby feared had frozen to death. But after smashing the window of the Subaru, officers were relieved to find the “woman” was actually just an “extremely realistic” life-sized mannequin, reports the Albany Times Union. The vehicle’s owner later returned and revealed he is a sales manager for a medical training aid manufacturer, and that the oxygen mask-wearing mannequin he’d strapped into the passenger seat is a CPR training device. He was not happy about the damage done to his Subaru.

In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a woman stole a $2,700 baby Jesus from a Nativity scene. According to the Associated Press, police say she went to the hospital just minutes after stealing the figurine, and left a note with the porcelain baby that read, in part, “Child has broken right foot which is been (sic) neglected. Parents Joseph and Mary Christ got a warning.” She is jailed on charges of theft and institutional vandalism.

In Menomonie, Wisconsin, a police officer pulled over a speeding driver. Inside the car was a University of Wisconsin-Stout student who was very agitated. “I have to get a tie tied,” he told the officer, according to KMSP TV. “I have a presentation and I thought my buddy was home but he’s not, and I’m running behind.” So, the officer helped the student fix his tie and sent him off to his presentation with a warning.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a bit of irony, the New Mexico Department of Health says dozens of its employees became sick after its holiday party. The New Mexican reports that about 70 staff members say they had gastrointestinal issues after the luncheon last week. A spokesman says more than 200 employees attended the catered luncheon. Investigators have not identified a specific contaminated food.

Happy Holidays, everyone! NewsDash will be back in your inbox Tuesday.
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along—and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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