Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 5th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Judges Sue CalPERS over Pension Change
Six judges elected to California superior courts in 2012 claim in a lawsuit that putting them in a new pension plan effectively reduced their compensation, which violates the state constitution. The lawsuit states that the Public Employees Pension Reform Act was unfairly and retroactively applied to judges who were elected to the bench before the enactment of the law in 2013. The judges have sued the state, the state controller, the Judicial Council and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), according to Courthouse News Service.Read more >
A year-end analysis from Towers Watson finds the aggregate pension funded status for Fortune 1000 companies fell to about 80% at the end of 2014, down 9% from a year earlier to give back much of the gains from 2013.Read more >
Time to Focus on Gen X Retirement Readiness
The oldest members of Generation X—those born between 1965 and 1980—are turning 50 in 2015. Few financial services companies acknowledge Generation X’s most troubling financial planning concerns, according to a study from Weber Shandwick, a communications strategist for financial services companies. The study, “Leveraging the Gen X Retirement Market: From Overlooked to Opportunity,” found that Gen X is an engaged group of workers and investors who are doing many things well. But, Brooke Worden, senior vice president of financial services at Weber Shandwick, tells PLANSPONSOR there is a significant problem that plan sponsors and advisers can help with.Read more >
The City of Cincinnati, along with retirees and various unions representing current employees, have reached a deal to fully fund the city’s pension system within 30 years. A statement from Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s office says recent estimates put the unfunded pension liability at roughly $862 million.Read more >
Industry Voices
Industry Voices: Mind the (Coverage) Gap
The first step towards solving a problem is admitting there is one, but it’s important to apply an objective perspective. A number of solutions have been proposed to address the issue of workers not covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans, and these proposals have a laudable goal—expanding participation in retirement saving. However, each potential solution starts with different assumptions about the characteristics and demographics of the uncovered worker population, which can lead to unintended consequences.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
IRS Updates Life Expectancy Tables for Retirees
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
Economic Events

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during November was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $975.0 billion, 0.3% below the revised October estimate of $977.7 billion. The November figure is 2.4% above the November 2013 estimate of $952.5 billion.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about factory orders for November. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report. Friday, we’ll learn the unemployment rate for December from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau will report about wholesale trade for November.

Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow ticked up 9.92 points (0.06%) to 17,832.99, the NASDAQ slipped 9.24 points (0.20%) to 4,726.81, and the S&P 500 decreased by 0.70 (0.03%) to 2,058.20. The Russell 2000 fell 5.90 points (0.49%) to 1,198.80, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 4.54 points (0.02%) lower at 21,665.32.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.2 declining issues for every advancing issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 15/32, decreasing its yield to 2.119%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 1 7/32, bringing its yield down to 2.693%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending January 2, the Dow was down 1.22%, the NASDAQ fell 1.67%, and the S&P 500 lost 1.46%. The Russell 2000 closed 1.35% lower, and the Wilshire 5000 decreased 1.29%.

Advocate at PBGC Suggests Action on Pension De-Risking
“[P]ension de-risking may be the greatest threat to PBGC’s single-employer program, as it has the potential to substantially reduce PBGC’s premium base,” says the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate, Constance Donovan. In her first annual report in the new position, Donovan says plan sponsor trade groups tell her pension plan de-risking is the most important pension issue on the minds of business executives in some of the largest corporations, and rising PBGC premiums are contributing to employer decisions to de-risk and exit the defined benefit system. Participant advocacy groups have other concerns about de-risking and the role the PBGC can play in mitigating this trend. “PBGC needs to be a part of that conversation so the Corporation can consider what changes, if any, they may want to make,” she writes.Read more >
myRA Not Subject to ERISA
The U.S. Department of Treasury maintains the view that its myRA (or my Retirement Account) program is not subject to the extensive reporting, disclosure, fiduciary duty or other requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1643, in the first record of a legal divorce in the American colonies, Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a divorce from her absent and adulterous husband, Denis Clarke, by the Quarter Court of Boston. In 1914, Ford Motor Company announced that there would be a new daily minimum wage of $5 and an eight-hour workday. In 1933, construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge. In 1925, Nellie Taylor Ross was sworn in as the governor of Wyoming—the first female governor in the U.S. In 1961, “Mr. Ed” debuted. The TV show would run for six years. In 1970, the soap opera “All My Children” premiered on ABC. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a bill authorizing $5.5 million in funding to develop a space shuttle. In 1980, the song “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang became the first hip hop single ever to reach the Billboard Top 40. In 1998, Sonny Bono, former California lawmaker and half of a singing and acting duo with his third wife Cher, was killed in a skiing accident while on vacation with his family in South Lake Tahoe, California.
SURVEY SAYS REWIND: In 2006, we asked NewsDash readers about productivity “thieves” in the workplace.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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