Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 14th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Retirement Plan Access Differs by Demographics
Overall, 58% of private sector workers have access to a plan, while 49% participate in one, according to an analysis by The Pew Charitable Trusts based on a pooled version of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). Wide differences in access to and participation in employer-based retirement plans exist across states, with variations by employer size and industry type as well as by workers’ income, age, education, race and ethnicity, according to Pew’s report.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
More TDF Underperformance Lawsuits Emerge Across US
Plan Sponsors Value Employee Education by Advisers
Employee education and advice from plan advisers is universally valued by plan sponsors, according to a MassMutual survey. Explaining the retirement plan benefits and options available to employees is a preferred topic for plan adviser education by 87% of plan sponsors that work with an adviser and 80% of those that do not. Seventy-three percent of both groups want advisers to educate employees about the importance of contributing to the retirement plan. The survey also found retirement plan sponsors that work with an adviser are more engaged and are more likely to think their employees are saving enough for retirement.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Financial Engines Updates Social Security Planner
Financial Engines’ Social Security Planner now supports changes to Social Security regulations enacted by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The legislation introduced changes to Social Security regulations that limit households’ ability to use certain Social Security claiming strategies.Read more >
Sponsored message from SEI
How are your peers responding to the evolving landscape for DC plans?
SEI recently conducted a survey of 230 plan sponsors gauging current perspectives around plan design, target date investing, and governance. Request your advanced copy of the results today.Read more >
Market Mirror

Stocks plunged Wednesday. Energy and consumer stocks bore the brunt of the selling. With crude oil trading near $30 a barrel, many fear more oil and gas companies will go bankrupt, according to the Associated Press. The Dow tumbled 364.81 points (2.21%) to 16,151.41, the NASDAQ fell 159.85 points (3.41%) to 4,526.06, and the S&P 500 lost 47.97 points (2.47%) to finish at 1,890.71. The Russell 2000 shed 34.51 points (3.30%) to close at 1,010.18, and the Wilshire 5000 plummeted 507.40 points (2.56%) to 19,320.05.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 7 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a near 7 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 11/32, decreasing its yield to 2.065%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 23/32, bringing its yield down to 2.845%.
No Clear Benefits Direction Given by President
While President Barack Obama recognized the changed retirement landscape in America with his remark, “The only people who will work for 30 years with health care and retirement are sitting in this chamber,” most of his comments about retirement and health care were general. Obama did say American workers shouldn’t lose what they’ve worked so hard for, so he called for Congress to strengthen Social Security and Medicare. He also advocated for the portability of benefits, saying portability was one intent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and that when people move from job to job, their retirement benefits should go with them. For some in the employee benefits industry, what President Obama didn’t say in his State of the Union address was the concern.Read more >
From the Magazine
Just out of Reish: New Guidance on SRIs
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance that eases the fiduciary burden for selecting socially responsible investments (SRIs), funds that apply environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in managing the fund. These funds can also be referred to as economically targeted investments (ETIs). Committees may have wanted to add ETIs to their plan lineups to appeal to Millennials. Or, including such investments may be consistent with the culture of a socially conscious or environmentally sensitive company. Until now, adding ETIs to a fund lineup was potentially problematic.Read more >
Big Expansion of Alternatives Use in DC Plans Not Expected
Target-date funds (TDFs) may be the main vehicle by which alternative investments in DC retirement plans are increased, suggests one researcher.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1784, the United States ratified a peace treaty with England ending the Revolutionary War. In 1878, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone for Britain’s Queen Victoria. In 1943, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane while in office. He flew from Miami, Florida, to French Morocco where he met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to discuss World War II. In 1952, NBC’s “Today” show premiered. In 1954, the Hudson Motor Car Company merged with Nash-Kelvinator. The new company was called the American Motors Corporation. In 1972, NBC-TV debuted “Sanford & Son.” In 1973, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII and became the first NFL team to go undefeated in a season. In 1985, tennis player Martina Navratilova won her 100th tournament. She joined Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert Lloyd as the only professional tennis players to win 100 tournaments. In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed Kremlin accords to stop aiming missiles at any nation and to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine. In 1999, the impeachment trial of U.S. President Bill Clinton began in Washington, D.C. In 2004, in St. Louis, a Lewis and Clark Exhibition opened at the Missouri History Museum. The exhibit featured 500 rare and priceless objects used by the Corps of Discovery.
SURVEY SAYS: It is award season. The Golden Globe awards have already been given, Oscar nominations will be announced today, and PLANSPONSOR is in the process of judging for its own awards given to plan sponsors and advisers. This leads me to ask, “What award have you been given that you value the most?” 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 >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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