Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 2nd, 2015
Editor’s Note
Happy New Year! Today, we bring you a special edition of NewsDash, highlighting the top news stories on in 2014.
Benefits & Administration
At Distribution Time, What Do Participants Do?
Examining how participants decide to leave an employer’s plan after separating and when they begin taking distributions can help plan sponsors decide whether to use “to” or “through” target-date funds (TDFs).Read more >
A Retirement Plan Sponsor Uses the Power of Inertia
Retirement plan participant inertia has previously been viewed as a bad thing, but one plan sponsor sees it in a different way. “For years, employee engagement was a primary goal of our retirement plan strategy, but we realized it was hard to engage younger workers. Then a light bulb went on, and we decided to use inertia as an asset [for our strategy],” Joseph Huber, managing director and chairman of Credit Suisse’s pension investment committee, tells PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
Sponsored message from SunGard
Becoming the Provider of Choice – The Evolution of Service Models in Technology
Improving outcomes for American Workers is a key focus for advisers, sponsors and participants. SunGard’s deep domain expertise helps recordkeepers provide smarter operations at reduced costs, while supporting agile growth. Learn more about SunGard’s managed services and solutions.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Great-West reached an agreement to acquire the J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services large-market recordkeeping business. The acquisition was of interest to Great-West because over the years, J.P. Morgan has built a great business in the large-plan market, Robert L. Reynolds, president and chief executive officer of Great-West Lifeco U.S., tells PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: From Where Did the Phrase ‘Be There With Bells On’ Originate
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
Great-West Financial has introduced Empower, a new retirement services company. The retirement plan services businesses of Great-West Financial take the name “Empower,” effective immediately. Empower is now the second largest retirement services provider in the U.S. market, with nearly 7 million defined contribution participants and more than $400 billion in plan assets, according to Great-West.Read more >
From the Magazine
Saxon Angle: De-Risking DB Pensions
These are interesting times for sponsors of defined benefit (DB) pension plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). We are witnessing a significant shift of plan assets from the defined benefit retirement system to tax-qualified and other defined contribution (DC) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). We should expect this trend to persist as the cost of maintaining DB plans continues to rise and their funding status continues to wreak havoc on plan sponsor balance sheets. Meanwhile, numerous sponsors still operate defined benefit plans, and many are looking to “de-risk” them.Read more >
Now in its 16th year, PLANSPONSOR’s annual Recordkeeping Survey is, as always, an exercise in ascertaining broad views of trends as well as detailed insight into specific providers in the U.S. defined contribution (DC) market. From the broad perspective, the “forest” continues to expand at a fast clip: The 75 recordkeeping providers in this year’s survey represent a total of $5.59 trillion in defined contribution plan assets as of December 31, 2013, a more than $1 trillion (22.5%) increase over the prior year.Read more >
Just out of Reish: Plan Committee Agendas
To help committees put their focus where needed, here is a proposed list of topics for participant-directed plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s. The list of issues may be incomplete, and there is no “magic” to the allocation, but this is a good starting point. This column covers the first two quarterly meetings.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 298,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 290,750, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s revised average.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.87%, up from 3.83% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.15%, up from 3.10%.

Market Mirror

The Dow closed 160.00 points (0.89%) lower at 17,823.07, the NASDAQ decreased 41.39 points (0.87%) to 4,736.05, and the S&P 500 fell 21.45 points (1.03%) to 2,058.90. The Russell 2000 was down 8.36 points (0.69%) at 1,204.70, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 206.31 points (0.94%) to finish at 21,669.86.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.8 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.3 to 1 ratio of decliners to advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 6/32, bringing its yield down to 2.171%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 2.750%.

For nearly two decades, PLANSPONSOR’s annual Defined Contribution Survey has been the most important industry benchmark, measuring and evaluating 401(k) and other DC providers according to feedback from their own clients.Read more >
PLANSPONSOR’s annual Recordkeeping Survey gives employers the chance to see exactly which products and services each provider offers, and lists information about total assets and overall client demographics.Read more >
Retirement Plan Deferral Limit Increases in 2015
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for retirement plans, as well as other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. The elective deferral contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $17,500 to $18,000. The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $5,500 to $6,000.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1788, Georgia voted to ratify the U.S. Constitution, becoming the fourth state in the union. In 1892, Ellis Island opened as America’s first federal immigration center. Annie Moore, then age 15, became the first person to pass through. In 1965, “Broadway” Joe Namath signed the richest rookie contract, for $400,000, in the history of pro football. In 1971, in the U.S., a federally imposed ban on television cigarette advertisements went into effect. In 1974, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill requiring all states to lower the maximum speed limit to 55 MPH. The law was intended to conserve gasoline supplies during an embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries.


Sorry, no FRIDAY FILES this week.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
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Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2014.

All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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