Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 24th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Fortune 500 Retirement Offerings Have Shifted
The last two decades have witnessed a sweeping shift in retirement offerings from large employers, most of whom now provide only defined contribution (DC) and other account-based plans to new salaried hires, according to an analysis from Willis Towers Watson. From 1998 to 2015, the percentage of Fortune 500 companies still offering a traditional, final salary defined benefit (DB) plan to most newly hired employees fell from roughly half (246 companies) to 5% (25 companies). The analysis also looks at the paths companies took to shift from DB to DC.Read more >
Chemtura Signs Pension Risk Transfer Deal with Voya
Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company has entered an agreement to provide pension payments to approximately 5,000 retirees and beneficiaries currently covered under the Chemtura Corporation Retirement Plan. Beginning on May 1, Voya will start making the pension payments to retirees and beneficiaries of the plan.Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
What Kind of Payments Can a Hardship Request Cover When Buying a Home?
Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2023
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
DC Participant Withdrawal Activity Down in 2015
Americans continue saving for retirement through defined contribution (DC) plans. The vast majority of DC plan participants continued contributing to their plans; most DC plan participants stayed the course in their asset allocations; and DC plan withdrawal activity remained low, according to an Investment Company Institute study.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Ask the Experts – Failing to Start Mandatory 401(a) Contributions
“We are a governmental entity with a ‘401(a) governmental defined contribution plan,’—it is not a 401(k) plan. We require that our employees contribute 3% of their salary to the 401(a) plan but recently discovered that we had failed to start mandatory contributions for one of our new employees. Does the IRS’ 2015 automatic enrollment correction guidance affect us? How would we correct this error?”Read more >
Economic Events

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased moderately in January, declined in February. The Index now stands at 92.2 (1985=100), down from 97.8 in January. The Present Situation Index declined from 116.6 to 112.1, while the Expectations Index decreased from 85.3 to 78.9 in February.

Existing-home sales crept forward in January to the highest annual rate in six months, and subpar supply levels propelled price growth to the fastest increase since last April, according to the National Association of Realtors. The West was the only region to see a decline in sales in January. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, inched 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in January from a downwardly revised 5.45 million in December. Sales are now 11% higher than a year ago—the largest year-over-year gain since July 2013 (16.3%).
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices finished lower Tuesday as the price of oil tumbled, according to MarketWatch. The Dow lost 188.88 points (1.14%) to finish at 16,431.78, the NASDAQ closed 67.02 points (1.47%) lower at 4,503.58, and the S&P 500 decreased 24.22 points (1.24%) to 1,921.28. The Russell 2000 was down 9.58 points (0.94%) at 1,012.15, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 236.94 points (1.19%) to 19,592.91.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, with a 2 to 1 lead for decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.6 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 2 to1.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 9/32, decreasing its yield to 1.724%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 21/32, bringing its yield down to 2.576%.
From the Magazine
Motivating Participants to Act on Advice
Participants want answers, not questions, adviser Tony Backert has found. He has asked why many 401(k) participants neglect to seek out the investment advice they need or contribute as much as they should.Read more >
Small Talk
More than 80% of Americans receive tax refunds, most workers spend them, according to an analysis by Morningstar’s HelloWallet. And, the larger the refund, the more an average worker spent. What did they spend the money on?Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled itself to be the final interpreter of all constitutional issues. In 1863, Arizona was organized as a territory. In 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson due to his attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The U.S. Senate later acquitted Johnson. In 1903, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, an area was leased to the U.S. for a naval base. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan announced a new program of economic and military assistance to nations of the Caribbean designed to “prevent the overthrow of the governments in the region” by the “brutal and totalitarian” forces of communism.


WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.”—Wilson Mizner, American playwright
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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