Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 15th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
A New Fee Challenge for Plan Sponsors: Levelization
Plan sponsors, as a whole, are unaware that participants pay disparate fees, and service providers, particularly recordkeepers that receive revenue-sharing payments, are not going to address it, experts say. It is incumbent on sponsors, then, to ask their plan advisers and recordkeepers about fee levelization. It is also a fiduciary responsibility that has largely escaped sponsors’ attention, notes Fred Reish, a partner with Drinker Biddle & Reath.Read more >
Boosting Wellness Programs in the New Year
Most companies implementing a fitness initiative in the new year started planning back in November, says Mike Tinney, founder and chief executive of the game-based wellness company Fitness Interactive Experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late. January is still a great time to harness that new year’s resolutions energy. The key is to keep it simple.Read more >
Delta Pilots Emergency Savings Program
TIAA Class Action Reversal May Impose Significant Procedural Hurdle for Future Cases
Ask the Experts
How Does SECURE 2.0 Affect The Due Date for SECURE and CARES Act Plan Amendments?
Employers Not Prepared for ACA Tax Reporting
A new ADP study reveals employer and employee confusion about the first new major tax-filing forms that the U.S. government has introduced in more than 70 years. Employers must provide Form 1094-C to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Form 1095-C to employees. While employers with more than 50 full-time employees need to compile data for the new forms to demonstrate employee health care coverage offerings, two in five employers say they are unfamiliar with these forms altogether, according to the ADP Employer Confidence Report.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Pacific Funds introduced six new U.S. equity funds sub-advised by Rothschild Asset Management Inc., a specialist in U.S. equity investments.Read more >
Sponsored message from T. Rowe Price
Next Generation Thinking: A fresh look at the millennial generation.
The American workforce is changing, and millennials are driving the retirement savings conversation. Get the practical solution you need to engage this new generation.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending January 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 284,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 277,000. The four-week moving average was 278,750, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 275,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.92%, down from 3.97% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.19%, down from 3.26%.
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices closed higher Thursday, led by gains in oil and gas companies as the price of crude turned higher, the Associated Press reports. The Dow was up 227.64 points (1.41%) at 16,379.05, the NASDAQ climbed 88.94 points (1.97%) to 4,615.00, and the S&P 500 gained 31.55 points (1.67%) to finish at 1,921.83. The Russell 2000 increased 15.48 points (1.53%) to 1,025.66, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 307.57 points (1.59%) higher at 19,636.62.

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

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 1/32, decreasing its yield to 2.094%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was down 4/32, increasing its yield to 2.891%.
JP Morgan Granted Win in Stock Drop Suit
While public pension funds have received compensation for JP Morgan’s alleged “London Whale” trading scandal misconduct, participants in its own 401(k) plan did not fare so well. The case, which had previously been dismissed for plaintiffs’ failure to overcome the Moench presumption of prudence for employee stock ownership plan fiduciaries, was sent back to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the 2nd Circuit to determine the effect of a Supreme Court decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer.Read more >
State Street Settles Public Fund Pay-to-Play Charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that State Street Bank and Trust Company agreed to pay $12 million to settle charges that it conducted a pay-to-play scheme through its then-senior vice president and a hired lobbyist to win contracts to service Ohio pension funds.Read more >
Methodist Pension Board Blacklists Five Banks
The pension fund board for the United Methodist Church has blocked five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio. According to news reports, the board describes the move as a broad review meant to weed out companies that profit from abuse of human rights.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1777, the people of New Connecticut (now the state of Vermont) declared their independence. In 1844, the University of Notre Dame received its charter from the state of Indiana. In 1870, a cartoon by Thomas Nast using the donkey to symbolize the Democratic Party for the first time appeared in “Harper’s Weekly.” In 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America’s first Greek-letter organization established by African-American college women. In 1943, the Pentagon was dedicated as the world’s largest office building just outside Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Virginia. The structure covers 34 acres of land and has 17 miles of corridors. In 1953, Harry S. Truman became the first U.S. President to use radio and television to give his farewell as he left office. In 1967, the first National Football League Super Bowl was played. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League. The final score was 35-10. In 1973, U.S. President Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam. He cited progress in peace negotiations as the reason. In 1974, “Happy Days” premiered on ABC-TV. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation making Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a national holiday to be celebrated on the third Monday of January. In 2001, Wikipedia was launched.
SURVEY SAYS: Since it is awards season, yesterday I asked NewsDash readers, “What award have you been given that you value the most?” Responses so far have been great, but we’d like more. Those who have responded shared about awards given by industry associations to “Most Improved Speller” to awards made by children given to parents. Surprisingly, no one reported an award related to sports, and I thought for sure we’d have some athletes in the readership. Respondents left comments about what makes awards more meaningful, and one mentioned the plethora of “participation” awards. We’re holding the survey open for one more day, so please share with us. You may respond to the survey by 9 p.m. Pacific time.Read more >
And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!  An argument for keeping food past the expiration date.Read more >

In Detroit, Michigan, a woman went to the 52-1 District Court December 22 to pay court fines. Court administrators said they could smell alc.ohol on the woman and contacted police. A preliminary breathalyzer test showed the woman had a blood alc.ohol content of .131%. According to the Detroit Free Press, the woman said she had been drinking vodka the night before at a holiday party and had stopped drinking about 10 p.m. She said she felt hungover, but not like she was dru.nk. She was arrested for operating a vehicle while into.xicated.

In San Pedro, California, a woman walked into a Bank of America branch with a stick in her hand and handed a note demanding cash to a teller. She also claimed to have a gun. The teller did not give her anything, so she walked away. A security guard followed her, giving police her location. Officers arrived and took her into custody, the Daily Breeze reports.

Worldwide, apparently, “No Pants Subway Ride” is a real event. Washington, D.C.’s WTOP posted pics on its website of Metro riders with no pants. But, only more than one dozen riders in their undies rode the Metro. The January 10th event is worldwide. The Associated Press also posted pictures of New York City subway riders in their undies, and reported that riders in Boston, London and Berlin also shed their pants.
A treadmill that lets you walk in any direction. I hope the harness comes with it.Read more >

In Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, workers at a restaurant jumped for joy when they realized they had won the Powerball jackpot on Saturday of $949 million. One of the worker’s friends texted him the latest Powerball numbers—but failed to realize the website hadn’t been updated yet, and it was still showing Wednesday’s winning combination. A dishwasher even took his apron off, yelling out, “I’m outta here! I quit!” according to the New York Post. But, the worker whose friend texted him the numbers called his wife, who said they should double-check the numbers. That’s when they realized the numbers were from the wrong day. The dishwasher who threatened to quit laughed and put his apron back on, saying, “Back to work.”

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a driver was sitting at a stoplight when two men approached his car and tapped the window with a gun. The driver got out and the men demanded money. When the driver said he had none, they asked for his cell phone and car keys. However, according to the Tribune-Review, when the driver mentioned the car was a stick-shift, the would-be carj.ackers lost interest and left. My next car purchase may be a manual.

In the UK, a movie-goer has started a petition to have cinema chains and the government ban popcorn at movie theaters. The man, who also opposes the smell of popcorn, said he first noticed how noisy popcorn eaters were in the 1990s when he saw “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” according to the UK’s Express. However, his experience in viewing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was the last straw. So far the man has gotten 106 signatures on his petition.

In North Plainfield, New Jersey, at 102 years old, Agnes Zhelesnik, is America’s oldest teacher. The woman, affectionately referred to by her preschool and elementary-aged pupils as “Granny,” has been teaching sewing and cooking classes at The Sundance School since she was 80. Zhelesnik, who hand-sews aprons for all of her students, guarantees that some of her basic cooking and sewing tips will stay with her kids as they get older. She doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon, and says the secret to living a long, fulfilled life is very easy: “Just be happy with what you’re doing!”

Have a happy weekend, everyone! PLANSPONSOR will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but NewsDash will be back in your inbox Tuesday.
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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