Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 8th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Employer Motives Differ for Financial Wellness Investment
By the end of the new year more than three in four (77%) large employers will have at least one financial wellness program in place, according to Aon Hewitt’s “Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Well-Being” survey report. Why the growth in financial wellness?Read more >
Employees Making Progress on Retirement Readiness
Because people are saving more and investing more appropriately for their age, the percentage of people who are likely to afford at least their essential expenses in retirement has risen to 45%, up from 38% when Fidelity Investments last conducted its biennial Retirement Savings Assessment study. However, Fidelity notes, this still means that more than half of the population (55%) may not be able to cover housing, health care or food costs.Read more >
EBSA Head Lisa Gomez Says DOL Continues Honing Retirement Security Rule
Data and Research
Early Withdrawals Found to Exacerbate 401(k) Account Disparities Across Race, Gender
Final Fiduciary Rule Expected Soon
Individuals Want to Address Current Financial Challenges
Budgeting is the top financial goal of individuals overall; men are exceedingly more likely to prioritize investing as a financial goal than women; 20-somethings value saving for major expenses; and parents may be putting their family’s needs ahead of their own, a study finds. LearnVest, a financial education and planning provider, looked at the profiles of more than 100,000 individuals signing up for LearnVest from April to October of 2015, and the findings suggest a solid financial plan must take into account life’s financial bumps along the way.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Fidelity Launches Personal Retirement Score
Fidelity Investments has introduced a new, personal Retirement Score. As Fidelity puts it, “Every individual’s retirement vision is unique, and every ‘someday’ starts with a plan. One of the first steps to creating a plan is to know where you stand on the retirement preparedness spectrum and whether you are on track to meet your goals.”Read more >
Economic Events

Initial claims for unemployment benefits in the United States decreased by 10,000 last week to 277,000, the Labor Department reported. Weekly claims averaged roughly 278,000 for all of 2015, the lowest level in more than four decades. The four-week moving average of claims decreased by 1,250 to 275,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.97%, down from 4.01% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.26%, up from 3.24% one week ago.
Market Mirror

Stocks and oil prices plunged again on more worries about a slowdown in China, giving the market its worst drop in three months, the Associated Press reports. The Dow fell 392.41 points (2.32%) to 16,514.10, the NASDAQ shed 146.34 points (3.03%) to finish at 4,689.43, and the S&P 500 lost 43.12 points (2.17%) to close at 1,947.14. The Russell 2000 closed 29.80 points (2.72%) lower at 1,064.56, and the Wilshire 5000 plummeted 490.94 points (2.40%) to 19,931.34.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, and on the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 6 to 1 on both exchanges.

The prices of the 10-year Treasury note and 30-year Treasury bond both increased 5/32, bringing their yields down to 2.153% and 2.931%, respectively.
‘Unpredictable’ Which Sponsors Could Be Sued by Participants
“I have seen a number of suits filed over the last four months by a wide range of plaintiffs’ firms,” Jamie Fleckner, partner in Goodwin Procter’s Litigation Department and chair of its ERISA Litigation Practice, tells PLANSPONSOR, “including firms that have not filed many ERISA fee suits in the last few years. I understand that these firms are continuing their marketing efforts looking for additional plan participants to come forward to join litigation, so I don’t see the pace slowing in the near future, unfortunately.” Still, “the message I would give to plan sponsors is to try to remain calm, and not act rashly,” he says.Read more >
Will Active Management Trump Index Funds in 2016?
Market conditions in 2016 may motivate retirement plan sponsors to move to active strategies, says Bob Doll, senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist for Nuveen Asset Management. Doll has 10 predictions about the markets and the economy for the year.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1675, the first corporation was chartered in the United States. The company was the New York Fishing Company. In 1790, in the United States, George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address. In 1815, the Battle of New Orleans began. The War of 1812 had officially ended on December 24, 1814, with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. The news of the signing had not reached British troops in time to prevent their attack on New Orleans. In 1856, Borax (hydrated sodium borate) was discovered by Dr. John Veatch. In 1889, the tabulating machine was patented by Dr. Herman Hollerith. His firm, Tabulating Machine Company, later became International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). In 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson announced his Fourteen Points as the basis for peace upon the end of World War I. In 1958, Bobby Fisher, at the age of 14, won the United States Chess Championship for the first time. In 1961, Robert Goulet made his national TV debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on CBS. In 1973, the trial opened in Washington, of seven men accused of bugging Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C. In 1982, American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies. In 1982, the U.S. Justice Department withdrew an antitrust suit against IBM. In 1997, Mister Rogers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
Google – Year in Search 2015.Read more >

In Crofton, Maryland, a man was at the police station to renew his s.ex offender registration. While waiting, he noticed a delivery man putting a personal package for an employee against the lobby door. The man took the package, left then came back to renew his registration. According to the Baltimore Capital Gazette, the employee for whom the package was left reported it stolen. Cameras at the police station showed who did it, and officers arrested him at his home.

In Manitoba, Canada, police received complaints about the Zamboni driver at a minor hockey game, the Toronto Sun reports. While cleaning the ice, the driver was striking the rink’s boards and moving around erratically. Police spoke to the man between periods of the game and he was placed under arrest—for dru.nken driving.

In Waynesboro, Virginia, a man sitting in his pickup truck realized he did not have any papers for his marij.uana, so he dialed 911 and asked the dispatcher to bring him some. Police responded to his location and found him impaired and a strong odor emanating from his truck. According to the local ABC News station, the man claimed he misdialed and thought he had phoned a friend.
New Year’s fireworks were literally all over Lima, Peru.Read more >

In Hackettstown, New Jersey, police responded to reports of an unconscious and unresponsive man lying on the street. According to the local WFMZ TV station, police said the 34-year-old was breathing and appeared to be into.xicated then he became combative and started swinging at officers. Police asked the man for identification, and he handed officers his wallet that contained a bag of mari.juana.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a man was in a bar chugging when the bartender changed the music from Black Sabbath to Christmas music. The man was angry about the change, slammed his glass on the counter and threw a bottle of at the bartender’s head, yelling expletives at her. NBC News reports that by the time police arrived, the man had left the bar, but patrons were able to identify him. Witnesses say he also pulled down a Christmas tree when he left the bar.

In Melbourne, Australia, 14,500 applicants to Victoria University celebrated Christmas and the New Year with news they had been accepted. However, now they’ve received an email telling them it was a mistake. The university said it was a system error and has apologized.
All I can say about this video is “Why?” Why was she using the lighter?Read more >

In Volusia County, Florida, a man told his granddaughter he did not want her cats in his home. So, while his back was turned as he was shutting a window, she pushed him to the floor and began beating him in the face with her cell phone, according the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Police arrived to find the 78-year-old grandfather suffering from cuts on his nose and eyebrow and bleeding from the right elbow and left knee. The granddaughter was charged, but she told the newspaper the family has been in turmoil over the issue for some time and she was just defending herself.

In Cleveland, Ohio, 911 dispatchers received a hang-up call, and concerned police responded. When the officers arrived at the home, they found a man into.xicated who said he called 911 because he wanted his girlfriend to go to bed, according to the Sun News. He was cited for misuse of the 911 system.

In Salina, Kansas, a Greyhound bus driver bound for Denver, pulled over at a motel and got off the bus. The passengers assumed it was a quick stop, but when the driver didn’t come back after a while, they called Greyhound and police. The stranded passengers said they had to keep the bus running because it was so cold, according to Denver’s local CBS News station. Greyhound said the driver had to finish his federally-regulated rest hours and the passengers could have waited inside a fast food restaurant to keep warm. WHAT???

Have a wonderful weekend!
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the Dash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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