Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 8th, 2014
Products, Deals & People
Mercer Touts Use of Industry-Specific Mortality Assumptions
The recently released mortality tables from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) are not required to be used for defined benefit (DB) plan accounting and calculations, and Mercer contends there may be better assumptions for DB sponsors to use. Jim Berberian, chief architect of the recently completed Mercer Industry Longevity Experience Study (MILES), noted in a recent webcast that auditors say the mortality assumptions a plan uses should be backed up by reliable, accurate data. Mercer believes longevity could vary significantly among industries, said Bruce Cadenhead, chief actuary at Mercer in New York.Read more >
In an expansion of its retirement plan sales team, Nationwide has hired two new wholesalers, Josh Cesare and Johannes Gerz-Escandón, and also expanded its territory to include southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.Read more >
Sponsored message from SunGard
Becoming the Provider of Choice – The Evolution of Service Models in Technology
Improving outcomes for American Workers is a key focus for advisers, sponsors and participants. SunGard’s deep domain expertise helps recordkeepers provide smarter operations at reduced costs, while supporting agile growth. Learn more about SunGard’s managed services and solutions.Read more >
Industry Voices
Industry Voice: Is a Core Fund Menu Required?
Michael Barry, president of the Plan Advisory Services Group, contemplates the question, “Does an ERISA fiduciary have an obligation to construct a core fund menu?”Read more >
Economic Events
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing. New orders for manufactured goods in October, down three consecutive months, decreased $3.3 billion or 0.7% to $496.6 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 1.4%. Inventories, up twenty-three of the last twenty-four months, increased $0.5 billion or 0.1% to $655.6 billion. This was also at the highest level since the series was first published. THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about wholesale inventories for October. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Census Bureau will report about retail sales for November and business inventories for October. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the producer price index for November.
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Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow closed 58.69 points (0.33%) higher at 17,958.79, the NASDAQ was up 11.32 points (0.24%) at 4,780.76, and the S&P 500 ticked up 3.45 points (0.17%) to 2,075.37. The Russell 2000 climbed 9.42 points (0.80%) to 1,182.43, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 42.04 points (0.19%) to 21,775.24.

On the NYSE, 3.3 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues nearly 2 to 1.

The yields for the 10-year Treasury note and 30-year Treasury bond were 2.307% and 2.968%, respectively.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending December 5, the Dow gained 0.73%, the NASDAQ fell 0.23%, and the S&P 500 closed 0.38% higher. The Russell 2000 climbed 0.78%, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 0.20%.

Compliance
DOL Wants Feedback About Provider Fee Disclosures
The Department of Labor wants to request new industry input and form focus groups about the effectiveness of retirement plan service provider fee disclosure requirements. The DOL says a new information collection effort is needed to explore current practices and effects of a final regulation published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2012, which implemented ERISA Section 408(b)(2), and to gather information about the need for a guide, summary, or similar tool to help a responsible plan fiduciary navigate through and understand the disclosures.Read more >
RadioShack Facing 401(k) Stock Drop Lawsuit
An Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit has been filed on behalf of participants of the RadioShack 401(k) Plan and the RadioShack Puerto Rico 1165(e) Plan of RadioShack Corporation. The suit alleges fiduciaries of RadioShack’s 401(k) plans violated ERISA by failing to disclose the company’s true financial and operating condition to participants and beneficiaries of the plans and/or by offering RadioShack stock as an investment option under the plans when it was not prudent to do so. The complaint uses information from the Supreme Court’s decision in Fifth Third Bankcorp. V. Dudenhoeffer in making its arguments.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE:  In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln offered his conciliatory plan for reunification of the United States with his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt requested from Congress, and received, a declaration of war against Japan. In 1952, on the show “I Love Lucy,” a pregnancy was acknowledged in a TV show for the first time.  In 1980, John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, was shot and killed in New York City. In 1997, the second largest bank was created with the announcement that Union Bank Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation would merge. The combined assets were more than $590 billion.
SURVEY SAYS: First Car Memories
A recent ON THIS DATE item had me reminiscing about my first car—an AMC Pacer just like in the movie “Wayne’s World” minus the flames. Last week, I asked NewsDash readers to share their first car memories. Most (52.5%) of responding readers reported they got their first car when they were in high school, and more than 43% of respondents paid for their first car themselves. Nearly one-quarter (24.2%) of responding readers reported their first car was a Ford. Chevrolets were the second most common first cars (19.2%). I really enjoyed reading readers’ first car memories and general comments. Thanks for the sympathy on the Pacer: “Ugly as my first car was, my sympathies on the Pacer. A ‘pregnant roller skate’ is how I remember that being described…and an apt description…” (I called mine “the bubble.”) However, I loved my first car despite its looks and problems, as did many of the readers who shared memories. And, you can almost feel the sense of freedom a first car gives from readers’ comments. Many tell of the rust they dealt with and how remarkably much oil cars seemed to use back in the day, while others were the lucky ones who had “cool” cars and “date magnets.” There were many humorous stories. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who shared: “Nothing makes a guy cooler than a hand-me-down SKY BLUE Toyota Corolla. As I think about it I can still hear the sweet rumbling purr of the broken exhaust and feel the sweaty joy of driving with the heat on in the summer to keep the engine from over-heating.” Much thanks to all who participated in the survey!Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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