Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 3rd, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Small Plans Seeking Help of Advisers
Fifty-two percent of small retirement plans, those with less than $50 million in assets, that currently do not have an adviser are either looking for one or considering doing so, according to David Swallow, senior director of institutional relationships at TIAA in New York. Aaron Friedman, national practice leader, tax-exempt, at Principal in West Palm Beach, Florida, says “small and mid-sized plans are very much in need of advisers because they don’t have dedicated human resources personnel or expertise on plan administration. Read more >
From the Magazine
Seeking Value
Plan sponsors initially gravitate toward judging their retirement plan recordkeeper based largely on cost, says adviser Joshua Ulmer, describing his frequent experience working with new clients. He helps them shift their focus onto the value received for those fees. Read more >
Investing
Steady Fixed-Income Outlook for 2018
Writing about his 2018 outlook for the U.S. and global fixed-income markets, Brett Wander, chief investment officer, fixed income, Charles Schwab Investment Management, foresees a slow and steady year. This is particularly true, he says, when it comes to the likely approach that will be taken by the incoming Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. According to Wander, 2018 will be a year to focus on fixed income portfolios. Read more >
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Slower Spending in Retirement Has Implications for Retirement Products, Education
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Hearing Witnesses Lay Out How Multiemployer Pensions Got Where They Are
Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow was up 104.79 points (0.42%) at 24,824.01, the NASDAQ climbed 103.51 points (1.50%) to 7,006.90, and the S&P 500 closed 22.18 points (0.83%) higher at 2,695.79. The Russell 2000 gained 14.50 points (0.94%) to finish at 1,550.01, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 197.01 points (0.71%) to 27,991.18.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 13/32, bringing its yield up to 2.457%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 12/32, increasing its yield to 2.812%.

Compliance
House Bill Seeks Retirement Plan ‘Simplification and Enhancement’
Among the retirement reform proposals submitted late in 2017 by House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, is the Retirement Plan Simplification and Enhancement Act of 2017. The bill seeks to eliminate the current 10% cap on automatically-increased deferral rates of employees who are automatically enrolled in a plan. The bill also includes provisions changing required minimum distribution (RMD) rules. Read more >
Benefit Limitations for Plans Covering Puerto Rican Residents Announced
Retirement plan sponsors with participants in U.S. territories should familiarize themselves with any differences in law. Read more >
Settlement Agreement May Conclude Allianz Self-Dealing Challenge
According to the text of a settlement motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Allianz Asset Management has agreed to settle a sizable Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary breach lawsuit dating back to 2015. Two participants in an Allianz retirement plan initially filed the claims, suggesting the company and its asset management partners, including PIMCO, misused employees’ 401(k) plan assets for their own financial benefit. Along with non-monetary relief, Allianz will pay $12 million into a common fund for the benefit of class members. Read more >
Small Talk
For the ninth consecutive year, Americans say “whatever” is the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation, according to the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. One-third (33%) of Americans consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word or phrase, down from 38% in 2016. There were new words/phrases in the top five for 2017, compared to 2016. Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther. In 1777, the Battle of Princeton took place in the War of Independence, in which George Washington defeated the British forces, led by General Cornwallis. In 1825, the first engineering college in the U.S., Rensselaer School, opened in Troy, New York. It is now known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1888, the drinking straw was patented by Marvin C. Stone. In 1924, English explorer Howard Carter discovered the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt. In 1938, the March of Dimes was established by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1947, U.S. Congressional proceedings were televised for the first time. Viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York City saw some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress. In 1951, NBC-TV debuted “Dragnet.” In 1953, Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, became the first mother-son combination to serve at the same time in the U.S. Congress. In 1957, the Hamilton Watch Company introduced the first electric watch. In 1959, in the U.S., Alaska became the 49th state. In 1961, the U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Cuba. In 1973, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) sold the New York Yankees to a 12-man syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner for $10 million. In 1993, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in Moscow. In 2000, Charles M. Schulz’s final original daily comic strip appeared in newspapers. In 2004, NASA’s Spirit rover landed on Mars. The craft was able to send back black and white images three hours after landing.

 

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’”—Alfred Lord Tennyson, former Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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