Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 11th, 2016
From the Magazine
Saxon Angle: Social Investments
On October 22, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance about the duties of fiduciaries, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), when evaluating economically targeted investments (ETIs). The guidance may embolden some to look into considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions for ERISA-governed plans.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Arnerich Massena Inc. transitions a portion of its participant-driven retirement plan services practice to SageView Advisory Group; new hires at The Standard and Hub International.Read more >
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Economic Events

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that November 2015 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 $442.8 billion, down 1.0% from the revised October level and down 4.6% from the November 2014 level. November sales of durable goods were up 0.4% from October, but were down 1.8% from a year ago. Sales of nondurable goods were down 2.4% from October and were down 7.2% from last November. Sales of farm product raw materials were down 15.0% from October and sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 7.4%.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 292,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment gains were led by professional and business services, construction, health care, and food services and drinking places. Mining employment continued to decline.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report. Friday, the Census Bureau will report about retail sales for December and business inventories for November, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the producer price index (PPI) for December.
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Market Mirror

Concerns over a slowdown in China’s economy and plunging oil prices again pulled major U.S. stock indices down on Friday. The Dow lost 167.65 points (1.02%) to finish at 16,346.45, the NASDAQ decreased 45.80 points (0.98%) to 4,643.63, and the S&P 500 was down 20.52 points (1.06%) at 1,922.57. The Russell 2000 closed 18.36 points (1.72%) lower at 1,046.20, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 224.54 points (1.13%) to 19,706.80.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, and on the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 2 to 1 on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 8/32, decreasing its yield to 2.120%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 9/32, bringing its yield down to 2.914%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending January 8, the Dow fell 6.19%, the NASDAQ plunged 7.26%, and the S&P 500 finished 5.94% lower. The Russell 2000 plummeted 7.90%, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 6.07%.
Compliance
PBGC Releases Modified Reportable Events Instructions
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBCG) has issued modified forms and instructions for “Reportable Events and Large Unpaid Contributions.” On September 11, 2015, PBGC published a final rule that made significant changes to the prior regulation about reportable events.Read more >
Firm Ordered to Stop Asking for Job Applicant Age
Seymour Midwest, a Warsaw, Indiana, hand tool manufacturing company, will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief to resolve an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The company had set an “ideal age range” for applicants.Read more >
Guidance Shows Anticipation of Pre-Approved 403(b) Plans
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2016-4 outlining annual procedures for requesting letter rulings. In the guidance, the IRS says a section has been added to note that opinion and advisory letters will be issued to 403(b) pre-approved plans and provide information regarding the process in obtaining such letters.Read more >
Investing
Plans Will See Little Effect from SEC Liquidity Risk Efforts
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a set of reforms about open-end funds’ liquidity management programs. John Hollyer with Vanguard says investors have been well-served by mutual fund regulations so far, so the SEC’s new efforts will likely have a minimal effect on retirement plan investors.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1805, the Michigan Territory was created. In 1861, Alabama seceded from the United States. In 1878, in New York, milk was delivered in glass bottles for the first time by Alexander Campbell. In 1902, “Popular Mechanics” magazine was published for the first time. In 1913, the first sedan-type car was unveiled at the National Automobile Show in New York City. The car was manufactured by the Hudson Motor Company. In 1922, at Toronto General Hospital, Leonard Thompson became the first person to be successfully treated with insulin. In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report that said that smoking cigarettes was a definite health hazard. In 2000, the merger between AOL and Time Warner was approved by the U.S. government with restrictions. In 2001, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the merger of America Online and Time Warner to form AOL Time Warner.
SURVEY SAYS: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers whether their participants have access to plan data or transaction capabilities on mobile devices and what kind of usage they are seeing. Thanks to all those who responded, but we would like to get a better sample size to get a better feel for what our readers are seeing. So, we have held the survey open until 6 p.m. Pacific time today, and ask those who didn’t respond to please respond. In addition to sharing results this week, results will be shared in the February edition of PLANSPONSOR magazine.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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