Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 25th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Two-Thirds of 401(k) Assets Held in Equities
However, at year-end 2015, for example, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) says retirement plan participants in their twenties had 80% of their portfolios invested in equities, while participants in their sixties had 55% in equities, showing as participants age, their allocation to equities drops. Read more >
A Different Goal for Employers to Offer Wellness Programs
While wellness programs may benefit employees in poor health the most, a research study found it is those in the middle of the health care spending range that are most likely to participate in wellness programs, but this still could save employers money. They conclude that a primary benefit of wellness programs to employers may be their potential to attract and retain healthy workers with low medical spending, which could lower health benefit costs for employers. Read more >
Consumer Directed Health Plans Aren’t Always Consumeristic
Rising health care costs and the advent of digital tools has made health care options more accessible and pushed the benefits industry toward a consumer-centric and retail-like model, to both the benefit and detriment of employees. Speaking during a recent webinar hosted by Alegeus, John Young, senior vice president, consumerism and strategy, said, all too often, these solutions are implemented under the mere guise of health care consumerism. In reality these solutions often are not actually set up to successfully deliver upon the goal of empowering Americans to get the best value for their health care dollars.” Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
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DC Plans 3.0 Will Really be Tailored to Individual Situations
Products, Deals and People
Voya Increases Targeted Communications with Personalized Videos
As the retirement industry sets out to increase participant-targeted communications, Voya Financial has added a new tool to their suite of retirement planning resources: personalized videos. According to Voya, the new tool allows employees to visualize their own path towards retirement and future financial goals. Read more >
Economic Events

Existing-home sales subsided in most of the country in December, but 2017 as a whole edged up 1.1% and ended up being the best year for sales in 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased in 2017 to a 5.51 million sales pace and surpassed 2016 (5.45 million) as the highest since 2006 (6.48 million). In December, existing-home sales slipped 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million from a downwardly revised 5.78 million in November.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow was up 41.31 points (0.16%) at 26,252.12, the NASDAQ closed 45.23 points (0.61%) lower at 7,415.06, and the S&P 500 decreased by 1.58 points (0.06%) to 2,837.55. The Russell 2000 lost 11.09 points (0.69%) to finish at 1,599.61, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 38.32 points (0.13%) at 29,434.66.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 10/32, increasing its yield to 2.653%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 20/32, bringing its yield up to 2.930%.

Compliance
Ruling in Charles Schwab Self-Dealing Suit Suggests Limits of Arbitration Agreements
For one thing, a federal court judge found the defendants provide no authority supporting their contention that a plan document executed after the participant has ceased participation in the plan can bind the participant to arbitration. Read more >
Would a Retirement Plan Mandate Mirror Affordable Care Act Fight?
Jeff Kletti, head of investments at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, sat down recently with PLANSPONSOR, and discussed proposed legislation for retirement plans, including the Automatic Retirement Plan Act, a proposal that would require nearly all employers to have a retirement plan, either a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, and to automatically enroll participants. “I really like the idea of promoting default-driven plans, and the evidence is abundantly clear that automatic retirement plans can be very effective,” he says. “However, my experience has been that the pendulum can swing too far in terms of mandates.” Read more >
Hospital 403(b) Plan Faces Lawsuit Over Investment Share Class Selection
The plaintiffs claim plan fiduciaries repeatedly failed to monitor the share classes of mutual fund investments and to substitute less expensive share classes of mutual funds for more expensive ones. Read more >
From the Magazine
Helping Employees Thrive
The philosophy at Movement Mortgage is that employees should thrive. Not just professionally but in four specific areas: family and relationships; health and wellness; community involvement; and personal finance. Aimee Dodson, director for the company’s Thrive program, says, “If these four areas are strong, then we’re getting a more well-rounded, engaged and healthy employee.” Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1799, Eliakim Spooner patented the seeding machine. In 1858, Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was presented for the first time at the wedding of the daughter of Queen Victoria and the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and others signed an agreement to organize the Oriental Telephone Company. In 1890, the United Mine Workers of America was founded. In 1915, in New York, Alexander Graham Bell spoke to his assistant in San Francisco, inaugurating the first transcontinental telephone service. In 1924, the 1st Winter Olympic Games were inaugurated in Chamonix in the French Alps. In 1946, the United Mine Workers rejoined the American Federation of Labor. In 1949, the first Emmys were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club. In 1961, John F. Kennedy presented the first live presidential news conference from Washington, D.C. The event was carried on radio and television. In 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States and were reunited with their families. In 1999, in Louisville, Kentucky, a man received the first hand transplant in the United States. In 2010, in Arlington, Texas, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame had its grand opening.

SURVEY SAYS: It is time for Super Bowl LII (or 52), and once again the New England Patriots are competing, but this time against the Philadelphia Eagles. This week, I’d like to know, which team would you like to see win Super Bowl 52? You may respond to this survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today. Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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