Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 7th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
A year-end analysis from BNY Mellon Investment Strategy and Solutions Group (ISSG) finds corporate pension plans, public plans, foundations and endowments all finished 2014 on a weak note. ISSG says the funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan fell 2.6% to 87.3% in December, as assets fell and liabilities increased.  Read more >
Employers Reconsidering Pre-65 Retiree Health Benefits
More than half of employers surveyed by Towers Watson that provide health care to pre-65 retirees are planning significant changes to their medical benefits and how those benefits are delivered over the next two years. The Towers Watson 2014 Survey on Retiree Health Care Strategies reveals that employers are seeking new solutions due to annual cost increases that are outpacing those of benefits for active employees and Medicare retirees, as well as the availability of new individual coverage options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Cost trends for Medicare-eligible retirees after plan changes (3.9%) are similar to trends for active employees (4.0%). However, survey results show that trends for pre-65 retirees after plan changes are much higher (5.5%).Read more >
The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies dipped, from 88% as of December 31, 2013, to 79% as of December 31, 2014. Decreases in interest rates used to calculate corporate pension plan liabilities, combined with an increase in liability to reflect improved longevity, overpowered increases in equity and fixed-income markets, lowering funded status to 79%.Read more >
Sponsored message from New York Life
PLANSPONSOR interviews Colette Sagar of New York Life Retirement Plan Services.  Read more >
Ask the Experts
Ask the Experts – 457 Plan Transfers
“I work at a private university, and we recently had an employee who had a 403(b) and 457(b) plan account with us leave for another private university. He wants to move all of his funds to his new university plans. We have no issues with the 403(b) plan, but are having difficulty accommodating his request for the 457(b) plan since rollovers are not permitted from that plan. Is there any other way to accommodate his request?”  Read more >
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Compliance
House Committee Approves Bill Aimed at Increasing Retirement Plan Coverage
Participants
Employees Don’t Want ‘All or Nothing’ When It Comes to Guaranteed Lifetime Income
Research
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Products, Deals & People
Nonprofit trade association PSCA has appointed Tony Verheyen as executive director, following the resignation of Bob Benish.Read more >
Economic Events
New orders for manufactured goods in November, down four consecutive months, decreased $3.5 billion or 0.7% to $492.7 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. This followed a 0.7% October decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.6%. Shipments, down three of the last four months, decreased $2.8 billion or 0.6% to $495.7 billion. Inventories, up 24 of the last 25 months, increased $0.7 billion or 0.1% to $656.3 billion.
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices took a tumble again Tuesday, with the Dow down 130.01 points (0.74%) at 17,371.64. The NASDAQ lost 59.84 points (1.29%) to finish at 4,592.74, and the S&P 500 decreased 17.97 points (0.89%) to 2,002.61. The Russell 2000 fell 20.03 points (1.70%) to 1,161.31, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 208.81 points (0.98%) lower at 21,060.25.

 

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues 2 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with a more than 3 to 1 lead for decliners.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 26/32, bringing its yield down to 1.944%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 2 3/32, decreasing its yield to 2.503%.

Compliance
Summaries of the latest from Washington and the courts—what’s coming, what’s contemplated and what’s critical to plan sponsors.Read more >
From the Magazine
Asset Class Focus: Annuity Choices
Over time, a glacier that has built up over many years of accumulation can slowly turn to liquid and begin to shrink—what glaciologists call “ablation.” Retirees face a similar challenge in preventing their buildup of savings from dissolving too quickly to yield sufficient funds for the rest of their lifetime. Now that the first 401(k) participants are retiring, the industry is early in its own ablation phase, and providers are bringing to market investment products designed to ensure that participants’ hard-earned savings will see prudent liquidation into retirement income.Read more >
Small Talk
Coworkers Make the Strangest… Gift-Givers?
According to a survey by CareerBuilder, about two in 10 workers said they would give a co-worker a holiday gift in 2014, and about the same number said they would give their boss a gift. Workers surveyed shared some of the most unusual gifts they’ve gotten from coworkers.Read more >
ON THIS DATE: In 1782, the Bank of North America opened in Philadelphia. It was the first commercial bank in the United States. In 1789, America’s first presidential election was held. In 1894, W.K. Dickson received a patent for motion picture film. In 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team played their first game in Hinckley, Illinois. In 1947, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was the No. 1 song on the U.S. pop charts. In 1953, in his final State of the Union address before Congress, President Harry S. Truman told the world that that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb. In 1968, the cost of a U.S. first class stamp was raised to 6 cents. In 1999, the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, formally charged with lying under oath and obstructing justice, began in the Senate.
WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “Adopt the pace of nature: Her secret is patience.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet
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