Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 30th, 2014
Benefits & Administration
Regulators Look to Improve Health Benefit Comparisons
Proposed rules from a number of federal regulators significantly streamline the Summary of Benefits and Coverage form while including an additional coverage example. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury issued proposed rules to help people who are shopping for health insurance coverage better understand their options.Read more >
Several federal agencies have introduced proposed regulations on excepted benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code (the Code), and the Public Health Service (PHS) Act related to limited wraparound coverage. Excepted benefits are generally exempt from the requirements that were added to these laws by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).Read more >
Sponsored message from New York Life
PLANSPONSOR interviews Colette Sagar of New York Life Retirement Plan Services.Read more >
From the Magazine
Barry’s Pickings: The Small-Plan Fiduciary
With regard to the whole issue of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciaries, fund menu construction and high fees, I have one simple, bedrock rule: A 401(k) plan shouldn’t cost more than it would take for an ordinary retail investor to save for retirement. At larger employers, that’s a pretty low bar; they are, typically, able to bring large-scale buying power to bear to drive down plan costs. At smaller employers, that test is harder to meet.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
U.S. Retirement Partners (USRP) reported that it has acquired Kades-Margolis Corporation (KMC), which will join USRP’s national network of 403(b) providers. KMC, based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, provides 403(b) planning services to school district employees in Pennsylvania in K-12 education.Read more >
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A New Way to Benchmark Plan Fees
Most retirement plan sponsors are probably benchmarking plan fees to averages paid by similar plans in the industry. However, some advisers and vendors put in more time than others when providing services to plans, but if they charge more compared to an average, their fees seem high. On the other hand, some advisers and vendors may do hardly anything, so if they charge the average, their fees are not reasonable. Jonathan E. Baltes, chief executive officer of QPSteno in Fort Wayne, Indiana, uses this illustration: “If I told you the average price of a car in the U.S. is $30,000, and I’m going to sell you one for $20,000, is that a reasonable fee or a good deal? Some would say ‘yes’ because it’s below average. But, what if the car I’m selling you is a 30-year-old Yugo with 300,000 miles on it. Are you still excited about the deal? No, you would be excited if it were a new S-class Mercedes.”Read more >
Market Mirror

Monday, the Dow slipped 15.48 points (0.09%) to 18,038.23, the NASDAQ was virtually unchanged at 4,806.91, and the S&P 500 increased by 1.89 (0.09%) to 2,090.66. The Russell 2000 gained 3.90 points (0.32%) to finish at 1,219.11, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 28.49 points (0.13%) to 21,977.52.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.4 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 12/32, decreasing its yield to 2.209%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 29/32, bringing its yield down to 2.776%.

Compliance
9th Circuit Revives Case for Consideration of Surcharge
Because a federal district court made its ruling in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pension plan benefits case prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, a federal appellate court has sent the case back for the court to determine whether surcharge is an equitable remedy to the plaintiff. Gregory R. Gabriel sued the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund and plan fiduciaries for terminating retirement benefits he was receiving after the fund determined Gabriel did not meet vesting requirements of the plan and was mistakenly paid benefits. The U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska ruled that Gabriel did not present evidence that he was entitled to the remedy of plan reformation or the remedy of equitable estoppel based on misrepresentations made to him about his entitlement to benefits.Read more >
IRS Provides More Clarity on New Rollover Rule
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2014-54 provides that all disbursements from a retirement plan scheduled to be made at the same time are treated as a single distribution even if they are sent to multiple destinations. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2014-54 provides that all disbursements from a retirement plan scheduled to be made at the same time are treated as a single distribution even if they are sent to multiple destinations.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1853, James Gadsden, the U.S. minister to Mexico, and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the president of Mexico, signed the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City. The treaty settled the dispute over the location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, and established the final boundaries of the southern United States. In 1922, in post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism. In 1924, Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galactic systems. In 1953, the first color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175. In 1980, “The Wonderful World of Disney” was cancelled by NBC after more than 25 years on the TV. It was the longest-running series in prime-time television history.

 

TUESDAY TRIVIA: According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the first coast-to-coast color TV broadcast was from NBC through 21 stations, showing the Tournament of Roses Parade.

TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which very well-known, now international, company is believed to be the first to ever issue coupons to consumers?Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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