Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 4th, 2014
Benefits & Administration
Sponsors Place High Value on Match, Advisers
Ninety-four percent of retirement plan sponsors polled by American Century Investments said providing a matching contribution in their plans is at least somewhat important to encourage employees to save, with 51% saying it is extremely important. Providing access to a financial adviser was ranked as at least somewhat important by 95% of respondents, with 31% saying it is extremely important. Nearly all respondents said supporting employees’ efforts to have a secure retirement is an important corporate goal for providing retirement plans, yet only 28% measure how ready employees are for retirement.Read more >
Many Lack Basic Retirement Income Knowledge
A large majority (80%) of retirement-age Americans received failing grades after taking a basic quiz on how to make their nest eggs last throughout retirement, according to The American College of Financial Services. A recent survey from the organization revealed the well-known “4% rule” is a complete mystery to seven in 10 Americans, and a majority of people age 60 to 75 with at least $100,000 in assets lack important knowledge in areas such as life expectancy, Social Security, long-term care needs, investment risk, and more.Read more >
The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies decreased, from 84% to 83%, at the end of November, according to Mercer. The rise in liabilities due to a further decrease in interest rates used to calculate corporate pension plan liabilities overpowered the increase in assets from rising equity markets, causing the 1% dip in funded status.Read more >
Affluence No Buffer for Retirement Health Cost Fear
Money is apparently no protection from the terror that strikes at the hearts of Baby Boomers contemplating health care costs in retirement, according to the third annual Nationwide Retirement Institute survey. A majority of survey respondents (72%)—all with at least $150,000 in household assets—say one of their top fears in retirement is health care costs getting out of control. Fear isn’t doing much to inspire these pre-retirees to take action, however.Read more >
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The funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan increased 0.4 percentage points to 89.9% in November as assets increased faster than liabilities, according to the BNY Mellon Investment Strategy and Solutions Group (ISSG). For the typical corporate plan in November, assets increased 1.5%, outpacing the 1.1% increase in liabilities, according to the BNY Mellon Institutional Scorecard. The funded status for the typical corporate plan is now down 5.3% from the December 2013 high of 95.2%.Read more >
Plan Sponsors Increasing Encouragement to Save
Savings rate suggestions, greater adoption of automatic enrollment and financial wellness programs are among efforts plan sponsors are making to improve employee retirement savings outcomes, find the 57th Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plans from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA). Nearly 22% of companies surveyed said they provide a suggested savings rate to employees—18.8% suggest 6% and 46.5% suggest a rate higher than 6%. Half of all plans have an automatic enrollment feature, up from 47.2% in 2012.Read more >
Sponsored message from The Newport Group
Newport #1 in “Best in Class” Awards in 2014 PLANSPONSOR DC Survey
The Newport Group, a national provider of retirement and executive benefit plans, is #1 in “Best in Class” awards in PLANSPONSOR magazine’s 2014 Defined Contribution Survey. Newport earned a record 72 awards-more than any other provider in the retirement industry.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Northwestern Mutual completed a $2.7 billion sale of its subsidiary Frank Russell Company, also known as Russell Investments, to the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). The completion of the sale comes nearly six months after the LSEG announced its intention to acquire Russell from Northwestern and minority stockholders. The firms report the comprehensive review of Russell’s investment management business is “making good progress and is on track to be completed early in 2015.”Read more >
In partnership with Hand Benefits & Trust Company, Legg Mason introduced 401(k) Roadmap Funds, a series of nine target-date collective investment funds (CIFs). The Roadmap Funds were designed to be successor funds to QS Legg Mason Target-Date Retirement Funds, a series of target-date mutual funds that closed on November 14. The new funds will utilize investment strategies and processes similar to those in shuttered funds, including similar asset-allocation glide paths and dynamic risk management.Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow was up 33.07 points (0.18%) at 17,912.62, the NASDAQ closed 18.66 points (0.39%) higher at 4,774.47, and the S&P 500 increased 7.78 points (0.38%) to 2,074.33. The Russell 2000 climbed 10.51 points (0.90%) to 1,178.96, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 99.89 points (0.46%) to finish at 21,765.08.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues more than 2 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a near 2 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 3/32, decreasing its yield to 2.284%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 17/32, bringing its yield down to 2.987%.

From the Magazine
From Employer to Retirement Paycheck
“One of the biggest challenges of defined contribution [DC] plans is that people spend all this time working and budgeting around a monthly paycheck,” says Scott Matheson, senior director and defined contribution practice leader at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Then they retire, and, all of a sudden, they no longer have a paycheck. They have this big lump sum of money.” Retiring employees who need to prepare for their future face issues such as increasing longevity, stock market uncertainty and daunting health care costs. “Put all of that in a blender, and it makes it even worse for participants,” Matheson says. “So, there has been a real push toward making this easier to consume for participants with this ‘paycheck’ mentality.”Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1812, Peter Gaillard patented the power mower. In 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson set sail for France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference. He was the first president to travel to Europe while in office. In 1945, the U.S. Senate approved American participation in the United Nations. In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson was released after nearly seven years in captivity in Lebanon. In 1991, Pan American World Airways ceased operations.
SURVEY SAYS: An ON THIS DATE item this week had me reminiscing about my first car—an AMC Pacer just like in the movie “Wayne’s World” minus the flames. This week I’d like to know, when did you get your first car? Did you have to buy it yourself or was it bought for you by a parent or other family member? Share your first car memories. You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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