Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 11th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Getting the Best Service from an OCIO Provider
The field of outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services has evolved, says Debra Woida, head of North American delegated investment services at Towers Watson. Back in the 1980s, companies chose to outsource primarily because they hoped to get fee concessions by aggregating their assets. Initially, they were satisfied if the fees were lower and the manager performed above the benchmark. But plan sponsors started to want more assistance in managing their retirement plans, Woida says, and now OCIO means a bundle of services.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Ask the Experts – Forcing RMDs
“There are several individuals who are no longer working for us, are over age 70 ½, and have never taken their required minimum distributions (RMDs). Despite the best efforts of the vendor and our staff to facilitate RMDs for these individuals, they have been unresponsive, failing to inform us if they are satisfying the distribution requirement via another 403(b) account or to request a distribution. Note that these are NOT lost or deceased participants—my theory is that they simply do not wish to bother with the paperwork and do not realize the potentially severe tax consequences of their actions. Can we amend the plan to force minimum distributions to individuals who fail to respond?”Read more >
Sponsored message from SEI
Is your plan lineup designed to help participants succeed?
SEI’s DC Trends Research Series investigates the actions plan sponsors are taking in terms of simplifying the menus of their defined contribution plans.Read more >
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Products, Deals & People
Groom Boosts DB Funding and Restructuring Group
Employee benefits law firm Groom Law Group expanded its pension plan funding and restructuring practice with the hire of Joshua Shapiro as a senior actuarial adviser. John McGuiness, executive principal at Groom, says the plan funding and restructuring practice works with defined benefit pension plans facing financial difficulties—whether single employer, collectively bargained, or multiemployer plans.Read more >
Voya Offers Retirement Income Investment Option
Voya Financial announced that its retirement solutions business has added a new retirement income investment option to its recordkeeping platform. Designed and supported by AllianceBernstein (AB), the Lifetime Income Strategy solution is now available for 401(k) plan participants of large employers. The age-based, asset-allocation program is designed to help participants convert their savings over time into a stream of guaranteed income that lasts throughout retirement.Read more >
Industry Voices
Industry Voices: Mind the Gap
The traditional focus of retirement planning in the workplace has been to emphasize wealth not health. However, it’s estimated that health care expenses in retirement will cost $220,000 for an average couple retiring in 2014. But the majority (79%) of American workers underestimates the cost of health care in retirement, and only about 10% were in line with what it really costs. With the average individual 401(k) balance at just over $91,000, it’s paramount that employers acknowledge the need to engage employees to save more now—specifically to pay for anticipated health care expenses once they reach retirement.Read more >
Economic Events
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that December 2014 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $449.8 billion, down 0.4% from the revised November level, but were up 1.4% from the December 2013 level. December sales of durable goods were up 1.1% from last month and were up 7.3% from a year ago. Sales of lumber and other construction materials were up 5.4% from last month.  Sales of nondurable goods were down 1.7% from November and were down 3.5% from last December. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 13.7% from last month.
Market Mirror

Good results reported by U.S. companies drove major stock indices higher Tuesday. The Dow increased 139.55 points (0.79%) to 17,868.76, the NASDAQ climbed 61.63 points (1.30%) to 4,787.64, and the S&P 500 gained 21.85 points (1.07%) to finish at 2,068.59. The Russell 2000 was up 7.35 points (0.61%) at 1,203.18, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 211.45 points (0.98%) higher at 21,813.97.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a 1.3 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.5 advancing issues for every declining issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note slipped 4/32, increasing its yield to 1.996%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 17/32, bringing its yield up to 2.579%.

Small Talk
Should You Talk Finances with Your Valentine?
Among American couples that report arguing about money, nearly one-quarter (24%) say the context is about spending too much rather than not making enough (6%). One-quarter of the population surveyed by COUNTRY Financial said both issues are a common argument. However, more than half (56%) of those who work with a financial planner report not fighting about their finances.Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1937, after a six-week sit-down strike by General Motors (GM) autoworkers at the Fisher Body Plant No. 2 in Flint, Michigan, GM president Alfred P. Sloan signed the first union contract in the history of the American auto industry. In 1990, Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from prison after 27 years. In 1993, Janet Reno was appointed to the position of attorney general by U.S. President Bill Clinton. She was the first female to hold the position. In 2012, Whitney Houston, one of the world’s top-selling singers from the mid-1980s to late 1990s, was found dead.

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “The more one judges, the less one loves.”—Honore de Balzac, French novelist and playwright

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