Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 25th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Private Health Care Exchanges Meet Employer Goals
“Fidelity’s recent launch of a private health care exchange validates the usefulness of private exchanges in the small and mid-sized employer market,” says Ashok Subramanian, CEO and co-founder of private exchange supporter Liazon, a Willis Towers Watson company, and operator of the Bright Choices Exchange. He tells PLANSPONSOR that 80% of Liazon’s clients have less than 1,000 employees, putting them squarely in the small and mid-sized employer camp. According to Subramanian, the decision to adopt a private exchange for health benefits offerings always starts with the objective of the employer.Read more >
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Retirement Planning Tools May Not Be Dependable
According to academic researchers in personal financial planning, publicly available retirement planning tools may lack crucial inputs or subtly push individuals to buy investment products.Read more >
Stretching the Match a Motivation to Save More
The company match can act as a powerful incentive that drives employee behavior, says Michael Ericson, an analyst with LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. A study released by LIMRA shows workers in the private sector and nonprofits alike will save only enough in their defined contribution (DC) plans to receive the full company match. The study also revealed how much participants are saving and what, if any, plans they have for drawing down assets in retirement.Read more >
So You Want to Be a Star (Multiemployer Plan)
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Producers Pension Plan is considered to be in good financial health and can be an example for other multiemployer pension plans. Dale Hall, managing director of research with the Society of Actuaries, tells PLANSPONSOR making contributions at least in excess of the normal cost of the plan will help plan get into a better financial position, and he shares other suggestions.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
T. Rowe Price Adds Financial Wellness Program
T. Rowe Price announced that Ramsey Solutions’ SmartDollar financial wellness offering will soon be available for integration into the Retire With Confidence program.Read more >
Economic Events
Sales of new single-family houses in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 9.2% below the revised December rate of 544,000 and is 5.2% below the January 2015 estimate of 521,000.
Market Mirror

The stock market reversed steep declines and ended slightly higher on Wednesday, thanks in part to a pickup in the price of crude oil, the Associated Press reports. The Dow was up 53.21 points (0.32%) at 16,484.99, the NASDAQ gained 39.02 points (0.97%) to finish at 4,542.61, and the S&P 500 increased 8.49 points (0.44%) to 1,929.76. The Russell 2000 rose 9.92 points (0.98%) to 1,022.07, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 94.57 points (0.48%) higher at 19,687.48.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, and on the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with 1.8 advancing issues for every declining issue on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 8/32, increasing its yield to 1.752%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 20/32, bringing its yield up to 2.609%.
Compliance
DB Plans Should Start Reviewing Payment Practices
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is rolling out an initiative focused on the investigation of benefit payment practices of the defined benefit (DB) plans of a number of Fortune 500 companies, according to a client alert from Morgan Lewis & Brockius LLP. Attorneys at the firm shared with PLANSPONSOR some suggestions for DB plan sponsors.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1751, Edward Willet displayed the first trained monkey act in the U.S. In 1791, First Bank of the United States was chartered by the U.S. Congress and signed by President George Washington. In 1793, the department heads of the U.S. government met with U.S. President George Washington for the first Cabinet meeting on U.S. record. In 1836, Samuel Colt received U.S. Patent No. 138 (later 9430X) for a “revolving-cylinder pistol.” It was his first patent. In 1862, the U.S. Congress passed the Legal Tender Act, authorizing the use of paper notes to pay the government’s bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly Civil War long after its gold and silver reserves were depleted. In 1901, the United States Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan. In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It authorized a graduated income tax. In 1964, underdog Cassius Clay (now known as Muhammad Ali), age 22, defeated champion Sonny Liston in a technical knockout to win the world heavyweight boxing crown. In 2005, Dennis Rader was arrested for the BTK serial killings in Wichita, Kansas. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 life prison terms.
SURVEY SAYS: We’ve covered a couple of surveys recently that found around half of people feel they are adequately saving for retirement. This week, I’d like to know how prepared do you feel, and are you following some of the suggestions you or your advisers and providers give your employees? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. today.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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