Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 4th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Initiatives to Change Health Care Delivery a Focus for Employers in 2018
Health care benefit trends in 2018 will be highlighted by initiatives to transform health care delivery, the role of new technology and efforts to improve the employee experience, according to the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). According to the NBGH, employers continue to manage costs through plan design efforts, but they are also pursuing ways to support changes in how health care is paid for and delivered to drive more effective, efficient and affordable care. Bundled payments with centers of excellence are becoming more prevalent and risk-based arrangements with high value networks and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), self-insured health benefit plan models in which employers directly contract with medical providers, are on the rise in select markets. The group sees more traction in value purchasing, increasing employee consumerism and increasing employee engagement in resources offered to them.Read more >
2017 DC Survey: Plan Benchmarking
When examining plan design, there are two sets of considerations for plan sponsors. There are the plan design elements and decisions that govern how the plan will work for plan participants, and there are the fiduciary elements and decisions for which plan sponsors and other fiduciaries carry a significant responsibility. Both sets are important in determining the success of a retirement plan, but in different ways. Results of the 2017 PLANSPONSOR DC Survey: Plan Benchmarking indicate that some best practices in plan governance have stalled, and plan design decisions appear to balance both impact and cost.Read more >
2021 Best in Class DC Providers
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Detailed Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Northwestern University Ruling
Industry Voices
Barry’s Pickings: A Big Win for Retirement Savings Policy
Michael Barry, president of the Plan Advisory Services Group, discusses how what was not included in the tax reform bill signals optimism for the U.S. retirement plan system.Read more >
Economic Events
Construction spending during November 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,257.0 billion, 0.8% above the revised October 2017 estimate of $1,247.1 billion, the Census Bureau reported. The November figure is 2.4% above the November 2016 estimate of $1,227.0 billion. During the first eleven months of 2017, construction spending amounted to $1,138.3 billion, 4.2% above the $1,091.9 billion for the same period in 2016.
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow increased 98.67 points (0.40%) to 24,922.68, the NASDAQ climbed 58.63 points (0.84%) to 1,065.53, and the S&P 500 closed 17.26 points (0.64%) higher at 2,713.07. The Russell 2000 was up 2.56 points (0.17%) at 1,552.58, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 189.92 points (0.68%) to finish at 28,181.10.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 2.446%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 22/32, bringing its yield down to 2.781%.
Inflation and the Fixed-Income Outlook for 2018
A new analysis published by Matt Toms, Voya Investment Management’s chief investment officer for fixed income, suggests diminished monetary policy support, tied to emerging risks that could drive downside volatility for bonds, favor “selling into strength” as opposed to “buying on weakness.” “Across our platform of fixed-income strategies, this will be our primary focus in the first half of 2018,” Toms says. Similar to the fixed-income market outlooks published by other large fund managers, Voya expects growth in the U.S. will remain robust, benefiting from deregulation and, to a lesser extent, corporate tax reform.Read more >
Litigation Cautions Plan Sponsors to Evaluate Stable Value Funds
An analysis from Mayer Brown LLP attorneys offers helpful guidance for retirement plan fiduciaries thinking about making changes to their stable value or money market funds in 2018.Read more >
Technology Updates Past Due for Mutual Fund Disclosures
Speaking to members of the Investment Company Institute (ICI) in Washington, D.C., during one of her last public addresses of 2017 Kara Stein, Commissioner on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the SEC is taking time to review the investing industry’s progress adopting and leveraging emerging technologies for the benefit of retail and institutional customers. “How has the SEC’s approach to disclosure changed in that time? Well, for one, instead of typing disclosure forms and printing them out for filing, [fund managers] now Word process disclosure forms and file them on EDGAR,” Stein noted. “In many ways, this is like the move from rotary dialing to touch tone—we went from analog to digital, but the phone we’re using is still basically just a plastic handle with a speaker and a microphone.” She added: “Investors could benefit enormously from a compact and timely disclosure document that they actually look at and understand.”Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1896, Utah became the 45th U.S. state. In 1935, Bob Hope was heard for the first time on network radio as part of “The Intimate Revue.” In 1936, the first pop music chart based on national sales was published by “Billboard” magazine. In 1957, “Collier’s” magazine was published for the last time. The periodical was published for 69 years. In 1962, New York City introduced a train that operated without conductors and motormen. In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. In 2007, Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first woman to hold the position. In 2010, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower) opened as the world’s tallest tower at 2,625 feet.
SURVEY SAYS: Some folks are just not morning people, and it takes them a while to get going at work, while others may start the work day off with a bang and slow down as the work day goes on. This week, I’d like to know, which period of the day are you most productive at work? Also, how many hours of sleep do you need to feel rested and productive for the work day? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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