Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 9th, 2015
PLANSONSOR Service Star Awards
PLANSPONSOR Service Star Awards
Today, PLANSPONSOR is pleased to announce the inaugural winners of its new Service Star award program, recognizing individual retirement plan account reps and relationship managers who have, based on descriptions provided by plan sponsor clients, demonstrated exemplary service over the past year.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Health Reform Boosting Adoption of HDHPs
The latest research from the Healthcare Trends Institute finds on average about 50% of the group health care market is covered under a preferred provider organization (PPO) type arrangement, but while large companies are still offering benefit-rich insurance this may dwindle as companies begin to contemplate the 2018 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) excise tax provision. Nearly half (48.2%) of the survey respondents said they are somewhat to very concerned about the impending 2018 excise tax on high cost health plans under the ACA. In order to not be penalized, 30.4% of respondent companies indicated they are moving to a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).Read more >
Workers Should Be Savings More Than Their Parents
A report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) predicts the consequences of growing retirement savings shortfalls could be severe for both American families and the national economy, as a large share of households may be forced to significantly reduce consumption in retirement and will have to rely heavily on their families, charities, and the government for help to make ends meet. The report notes that a significant number of Americans still lack access to the primary savings vehicles used today—workplace retirement plans. But, even among those who do have access to workplace retirement plans, those who save in them have failed to accumulate enough to be on track to meet their needs in retirement.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
Holistic Approach to Addressing the Retirement Problem
Retirement plan participants who are broke can’t save for retirement, says Dave Ramsey. The solution? Get them financially well. Ramsey, the personal finance guru, host of a daily finance show and author of several books about getting out of debt, is looking to bring a program to plan sponsors with common-sense information about making and sticking to a budget, eliminating debt and building (at least initially) a $1,000 emergency fund are at the root of the program. “SmartDollar is a retirement education platform for advisers and plan sponsors to use to drive participation and contribution rates by focusing on the real problem,” says Brian Hamilton vice president of financial wellness at Dave Ramsey.Read more >
Economic Events

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about wholesale inventories for December. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Census Bureau will report about retail sales for January and business inventories for December.

Market Mirror

News of a burst of hiring at U.S. employers led investors to dump safe-play stocks with high dividends Friday in anticipation of higher interest rates and faster economic growth, according to the Associated Press. The Dow shed 60.59 points (0.34%) to finish at 17,824.29, the NASDAQ fell 20.70 points (0.43%) to 4,744.40, and the S&P 500 lost 7.28 points (0.35%) to finish at 2,055.24. The Russell 2000 was down 3.25 points (0.27%) at 1,205.46, and the Wilshire 5000 slipped 68.75 points (0.32%) to 21,705.75.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 1.7 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 1 6/32, bringing its yield up to 1.954%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond dropped 2 3/32, increasing its yield to 2.526%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending February 6, the Dow climbed 3.84%, the NASDAQ was up 2.36%, and the S&P 500 increased 3.02%. The Russell 2000 gained 3.44%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 3.06% higher.

Compliance
PBGC Gets Financial Boost for Safeway Pension
Under a settlement with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), Safeway Inc., an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management L.P., made $212 million in additional contributions to Safeway’s largest pension plan. The Safeway agreement is a product of PBGC’s Early Warning Program, in which the agency monitors certain companies with underfunded defined benefit pension plans to identify corporate transactions that could jeopardize pensions.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1773, future U.S. President William Henry Harrison was born on the Berkeley Plantation in Virginia. In 1825, as no presidential candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the election, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to elect John Quincy Adams, who won fewer votes than Andrew Jackson in the popular election, as president of the United States. In 1861, the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis as its president. In 1870, the United States Weather Bureau was authorized by Congress. The bureau is officially known as the National Weather Service (NWS). In 1942, Congress pushed ahead standard time for the United States by one hour in each time zone, imposing daylight saving time, then called “war time.” Daylight saving time, suggested by President Roosevelt, was imposed to conserve fuel. In 1960, the official groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The first star to be dedicated on the historic walkway belonged to the actress Joanne Woodward, an Academy Award winner for The Three Faces of Eve (1957). In 1964, the Beatles made their live U.S. television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1969, the Boeing 747 flew its inaugural flight. In 1971, pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige became the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was inducted in August of that year.
SURVEY SAYS: Super Powers
Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “If you could have one super power, what would you choose?” More than 22% of responding readers selected ‘teleporting,’ and 11.25% selecting ‘flying.’ “Other” was the option selected by the most readers (33.75%), and responses included super strength, the ability to heal, and “Ability to understand tax codes, DOL notices and other alien languages and to take that knowledge and use it for the betterment of mankind.” Freedom to do whatever they want wherever they want, and to have more time with family and friends were themes among the reader responses when asked why they chose the super power they selected. In verbatim comments, a number of folks admonished that when wishing for super powers, one should be careful what they wish for. Quite a few also expressed that super powers could lead to them being used for evil. Other commenters recognized having super powers is fun to think about and would be fun for a while. One asked whether I was going to confer a super power on one lucky respondent. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “This was tough. I thought I’d pick invisibility, but the ability to make my step mother go away is just too tempting!!!” Thanks to all who responded to the survey!Read more >
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Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2015.

All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.

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

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