Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 28th, 2015
Editor’s Note
No year is ever a dull year for retirement plans. As we look back on the top stories for 2015, we remember that we’re still waiting on court decisions about the status of church plans, plan sponsors are still focused on fees, and health savings accounts are gaining traction as a tool for saving for retirement. And, one of the biggest, most controversial issues in the retirement industry this year is the new fiduciary rule proposed by the Department of Labor. In this edition of NewsDash, we present you with the top stories of 2015.
Benefits & Administration
Employers Reconsidering Health Benefits for Pre-65 Retirees
Health care reform has given employers new ideas about providing health benefits to pre-65 retirees.Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many Phils Have There Been?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2023
Time to Focus on Gen X Retirement Readiness
Weber Shandwick observed that often when financial services firms segment investors and retirement plan participants by generation, they tend to focus on Millennials and Baby Boomers, but not on Gen X, making it an important opportunity for the industry. “They don’t have the numbers and the wealth compared with Boomers and even Millennials,” says Brooke Worden, senior vice president of financial services at Weber Shandwick.Read more >
Ask the Experts
457 Plan Transfers
“I work at a private university and we recently had an employee who had a 403(b) and 457(b) plan account with us leave for another private university. He wants to move all of his funds to his new university plans. We have no issues with the 403(b) plan, but are having difficulty accommodating his request for the 457(b) plan since rollovers are not permitted from that plan. Is there any other way to accommodate his request?”Read more >
Sponsored message from BlackRock
DC Fixed Income: The World Has Changed. It’s Time to Catch Up
Learn how DC plans should respond to a fixed income environment that is more complicated than anything we’ve seen in decades.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
TIAA-CREF Offers Framework for Assessing Retirement Plan Fees
A new paper from TIAA-CREF outlines a process for evaluating the reasonableness of retirement plan fees.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 267,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 271,000 to 272,000. The 4-week moving average was 272,500, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 270,500 to 270,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.96%, down from 3.97% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.22%, unchanged from a week ago.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Conference Board will reveal its Consumer Confidence Index for December. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report.
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow closed 50.44 points (0.29%) lower at 17,552.17, the NASDAQ was up 2.56 points (0.05%) at 5,048.49, and the S&P 500 was down 3.30 points (0.16%) at 2,060.99. The Russell 2000 increased by 1.94 (0.17%) to 1,154.75, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 25.43 points (0.12%) to finish at 21,166.92.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, and on the NASDAQ 2.6 billion shares changed hands, with 1.2 advancing issues for every declining issue on both exchanges.

The yield of the 10-year Treasury note was 2.242%. The yield of the 30-year Treasury bond was 2.964%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending December 25, the Dow was up 0.32%, the NASDAQ increased 0.92%, and the S&P 500 finished 0.94% higher. The Russell 2000 climbed 1.71%, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 1.04%.
Court Finds Advocate Health Retirement Plan Not a Church Plan
A federal district court has found the defined benefit (DB) retirement plan of Advocate Health Care Network and its subsidiaries is not a “church plan” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).Read more >
Broad Strokes of New Fiduciary Rule Outlined by DOL
Language underlying a revised “consumer protection proposal” from the Department of Labor (DOL) has been made public—representing the latest step forward in a years-long effort by the DOL to strengthen investment advice and conflict of interest standards. Matching the expectations of some industry practitioners and analysts, the DOL appears to be taking an exemptions-based approach to a stronger fiduciary standard.Read more >
Retirement Plan Deferral Limits Unchanged for 2016
The IRS announced it will not adjust most current contribution limitations for qualified retirement plans heading into tax year 2016, though some retirement-related tax breaks and other items have been adjusted.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Jackson. In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union. In 1869, William E. Semple, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, patented an acceptable chewing gum. In 1912, the first municipally-owned street cars were used on the streets of San Francisco. In 1945, the U.S. Congress officially recognized the “Pledge of Allegiance.” In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.
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 >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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