Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 21st, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Health Care Options Baffle Millennials and Parents
Sixty-one percent of Americans are often still confused by the available options for health care benefits, such as a preferred provider organization (PPO) versus a health maintenance organization (HMO), and flex spending accounts (FSA) versus health spending accounts (HSA), a survey found. Millennials and parents with a child younger than 18 in the home admitted to being the most confused when it came to health care benefits.Read more >
Investing
Are There Opportunities During Volatile Markets?
Managing director of AB’s alternatives and multi-asset arm offers helpful reminders amid rocky markets—most notably, that volatility is normal and actually a key source of opportunities.Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
New Financial Audit Rule Increases Requirements for Plan Sponsors
2
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
3
2021 Plan Sponsor of the Year
4
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
5
DOL Proposes New Rule on ESG Investing in Retirement Plans
Economic Events

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1% in December after being unchanged in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1% in December after increasing 0.2% in November.

Real average hourly earnings increased 0.1% in December, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings had no change, and CPI-U decreased 0.1%. Real average weekly earnings increased 0.1% over the month.

Privately-owned housing starts in December 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,149,000, the Census Bureau announced. This is 2.5% below the revised November 2015 estimate of 1,179,000, but is 6.4% above the December 2014 rate of 1,080,000. Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 768,000; this is 3.3% below the revised November figure of 794,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 365,000. An estimated 1,111,200 housing units were started in 2015. This is 10.8% above the 2014 figure of 1,003,300.
Sponsored message from BlackRock
How Index and Active Can Work Together in DC Plans
Explore the trend toward indexing in DC and develop a framework for going index or active.Read more >
Market Mirror

U.S. stocks recovered much of an early plunge, but the price of oil suffered its worst one-day drop since September, the Associated Press reports. Still, the Dow fell 249.28 points (1.56%) to 15,766.74, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 210.21 points (1.09%) to finish at 18,988.96. The Russell 2000 was up 4.45 points (0.45%) at 999.31, while the NASDAQ was down 5.26 points (0.12%) and the S&P 500 closed 22.00 points (1.17%) lower at 1,859.33.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 2 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 20/32, bringing its yield down to 1.987%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 12/32, decreasing its yield to 2.761%.
Compliance
Major Recordkeeper Targeted in Revenue Sharing Suit
Empower Retirement is the latest retirement plan provider accused of charging excessive fees to retirement plans and participants. A recently filed lawsuit says Empower Retirement has entered into revenue-sharing agreements and similar arrangements with various mutual funds, and other investment advisers, instruments or vehicles by which it receives revenue-sharing payments for its own benefit in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).Read more >
Industry Groups Call Out Issues with State-Run Plans
The Department of Labor (DOL) proposal that aims to help states create retirement plans for private-sector works would result in a confusing patchwork of disparate state-run savings programs, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) says. In its comment letter, the institute says these savings programs would suffer from their lack of strict federal protections mandated for private employers’ retirement plans. SIFMA brought up similar concerns and recommends that the DOL make states co-fiduciaries under ERISA since they will be investing assets and making choices about investments to offer savers.Read more >
From the Magazine
Insights: Inaccurate Facts
Back in my journalism classes it was always made clear that when we were reporting, it was imperative to ensure that anything not a well-known or widely accepted fact had to be attributed to someone. Especially opinions or statements made without sufficient evidence. So, I’ve been surprised, of late, to see a statement made repeatedly in articles—basically a complaint about the expense of 401(k) and other defined contribution (DC) plans. Apparently, say these statements written with no citations, it’s a well-known fact that such plans are overly expensive, and that, again per the writer’s “factual” opinion, participants are being overcharged.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1846, the first issue of the “Daily News,” edited by Charles Dickens, was published. In 1853, Dr. Russell L. Hawes patented the envelope folding machine. In 1861, the future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, resigned from the U.S. Senate. Four other Southerners also resigned. In 1915, the first Kiwanis club was formed in Detroit. In 1954, the Nautilus, the first atomic-powered submarine, was launched in Groton, Connecticut. U.S. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow. In 1970, the Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American. In 1977, U.S. President Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders. In 1997, Newt Gingrich was fined as the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct. In 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that estimates showed the Hispanic population had passed the black population for the first time.
SURVEY SAYS: The nominations for the Oscars were announced last week. This week, I’d like to know, which “Best Picture” nominees have you seen, which do you think should win, and what movies do you think should have made the list. You may respond to this week’s survey by 9 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 alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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