Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 26th, 2015
Webcast Event
Join us for a webcast that will highlight our 2014 MullinTBG/PLANSPONSOR Executive Benefits Survey results, with a focus on identifying barriers to participant engagement—including the surprising and not so obvious—and how we can leverage new communication and education tools that take a more intuitive and simplified approach to positively influence behavior that can lead to more successful outcomes for participants and plan sponsors alike.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
What Providers Should Bring to Communications
There aren’t many different ways a retirement plan provider can say it processes transactions promptly and makes sure participants have correct information, but a provider can differentiate itself by what it offers for participant communications, according to Cynthia Hayes, president of Oculus Partners. In a webcast sponsored by communications provider Broadridge, Hayes noted that communications is one of the largest areas of expenditure for plan providers and plan sponsors. It is one of the fastest-changing areas in retirement plan administration, as technology and participants change, so it requires long-term investing of money and resources. Plan sponsors wanting to step up participant communications should make sure their providers are in tune with the latest trends.Read more >
Some DC Plans Not Taking Advantage of QDIAs
Half of plan sponsors do not take advantage of qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) safe harbor protections, according to preliminary results from an upcoming survey report from AllianceBernstein. Richard Davies, senior managing director of defined contribution and co-head North America at AllianceBernstein Institutional Investments, says this seems to parallel the finding that more than one-third of plan sponsors do not actually know they are fiduciaries.Read more >
Behaviors That Sabotage Retirement Savings
Years of education, communication strategies and support haven’t done as much to move the needle on retirement plan participant retirement readiness as plan sponsors and advisers hope to see. For America Saves Week, Prudential wanted to answer a simple question: Why is long-term savings so hard for participants? According to Jennifer Putney, vice president of Total Retirement Solutions at Prudential Retirement, the firm turned to the behavioral sciences to formulate an approach that would help them understand the behaviors that help or hinder decision-making.Read more >
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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 >
Products, Deals & People
Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc. (LGIMA) will extend distribution of its products to the public defined benefit plan, Taft-Hartley plan and foundation/endowment segments of the institutional investing market. To assist in this effort, LGIMA has hired Mark Toomey as senior client portfolio manager.Read more >
A new investment research tool from Aon Hewitt provides “insightful and transparent” ratings of thousands of investment products, based on eVestment data and analytics.Read more >
Economic Events
Sales of new single-family houses in January 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.2% below the revised December rate of 482,000, but is 5.3% above the January 2014 estimate of 457,000.
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices were little moved Wednesday. The Dow was up 15.38 points (0.08%) at 18,224.57, the NASDAQ slipped 0.98 of a point (0.02%) to 4,967.14, and the S&P 500 decreased by 1.62 (0.08%) to 2,113.86. The Russell 2000 increased by 1.13 (0.09%) to 1,235.10, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 5.93 points (0.03%) higher at 22,314.56.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 4/32, decreasing its yield to 1.966%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 17/32, bringing its yield down to 2.567%.

Compliance
Justices Consider ‘Duty to Monitor’ Investments
A review of argument transcripts in Tibble v. Edison shows U.S. Supreme Court justices had an extensive amount of questions for both the appellants and appellees—many of which strayed far beyond the narrow review to which the Supreme Court initially said it would limit itself. Earlier case filings show the Supreme Court justices planned to limit their review to the issue of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) statute of limitations, but Michael Graham, a partner and co-chair of the ERISA Litigation Affinity Group at international law firm McDermott Will & Emery, tells PLANSPONSOR that issue “basically got ignored.”Read more >
From the Magazine
Fiduciary Outsourcing Options
Know exactly what you are getting, and why it makes sense to get it. That is the bottom line of experts’ advice to plan sponsors who have decided to outsource some of their fiduciary duties to a third party.Read more >
Investing
Newly published research finds that plan sponsors’ expectations of performance are driven by past performance, investment consultants’ recommendations, and soft factors that they identify in their asset managers, such as having a consistent investment philosophy, clear decisionmaking processes and capable investment professionals. Researchers Howard Jones, from the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and Jose Martinez, from the University of Connecticut School of Business, say the partial dependency of expected performance on past performance and soft factors is not, in itself, irrational. Investors could use such variables as signals of future performance. However, what they did find irrational is that past performance is relied upon when it is uninformative about future performance, and the same was true for soft factors.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1919, the Grand Canyon in Arizona was designated a national park. In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed into law a bill passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress establishing the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In 1993, a bomb exploded in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City.
SURVEY SAYS: Recently, we covered a survey that found 38% of Americans say they have fallen asleep at work. This week, I’d like to know, have you fallen asleep on the job? What other work mistakes have you made because you were tired? And, how do you refresh yourself when tired at work? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the Dash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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