Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 8th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Few NQDC Plan Sponsors to Make Plan Changes
Although 87% of respondents to the annual Prudential/PLANSPONSOR Executive Benefit Survey don’t plan on making any changes to their nonqualified deferred compensation plans (NQDCPs), of the few that are, the majority cited additions or enhancements to plan education and communication programs (52.6%). Average participation rates were relatively flat at 47%, and plan sponsors think the most important thing to eligible employees in making the decision whether or not to participate is education/communication. Participation rates were notably higher in plans offering matching contributions (60%), which may be why 21% of respondents plan to either offer or enhance the company match. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
John Hancock announces promotion in Taft-Hartley practice; The Segal Group acquires Touchstone Consulting; Ascensus adds DB consulting firm to roster of TPAs; and more. Read more >
From the Magazine
Owning a Piece of the Firm
When one hears “stock plan” or “equity compensation,” he or she may think of the incentive stock options that have been in vogue with startups and technology firms. “Company stock” may evoke thoughts of employer equity within a 401(k) plan—and the stock-drop lawsuits that have proliferated. However, such perceptions limit the broad role that ownership of employer stock can play—and the link it can have to retirement planning. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
Financial Wellness Programs Boost Engagement and Loyalty
2
Brief in University of Pennsylvania 403(b) Lawsuit Points Out Differences From 401(k)s
3
Slower Spending in Retirement Has Implications for Retirement Products, Education
4
$280K Is What a Couple Retiring This Year Will Need to Cover Health Care
5
Hearing Witnesses Lay Out How Multiemployer Pensions Got Where They Are
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in November 2017 increased $3.1 billion, or 1.3%, to $241.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up three of the last four months, followed a 0.4% October decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.0%. Transportation equipment, also up three of the last four months, drove the increase—$3.3 billion, or 4.2%, to $80.9 billion.

 

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 148,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment gains occurred in health care, construction, and manufacturing.

 

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Wednesday, the Census Bureau will report about wholesale trade for November. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will reveal the producer price index for December. Friday, the BLS will reveal the consumer price index for December, and the Census Bureau will report about retail sales for December and business inventories for November.

Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow climbed 220.74 points (0.88%) to 25,295.87, the NASDAQ gained 58.64 points (0.83%) to finish at 7,136.56, and the S&P 500 closed 19.16 points (0.70%) higher at 2.743.15. The Russell 2000 was up 4.29 points (0.28%) at 1,560.01, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 167.33 points (0.59%) to 28,440.55.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 5/32, increasing its yield to 2.472%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 10/32, bringing its yield up to 2.803%.

 

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending January 5, the Dow finished 2.33% higher, the NASDAQ climbed 3.38%, and the S&P 500 gained 2.60%. The Russell 2000 was up 1.60%, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 2.33%.

Compliance
IRS Modifies VCP User Fees
Effective January 2, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) simplified the user fees charged for most submissions made under the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). The total amount of net plan assets determines the applicable user fee now, not the number of participants. Most alternative or reduced fees that were part of previous revenue procedures no longer apply. The agency also issued information about how to obtain or re-establish an employer identification number (EIN) for a retirement plan trust. Read more >
Hospital to Pay $400K to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit
Montrose Memorial Hospital of Montrose, Colorado, has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) age discrimination lawsuit. EEOC charged the hospital with violating federal law by firing or forcing 29 employees ages 40 and older to resign. The agency said the hospital accused those who were fired of having been deficient in their performance but did not apply the same standards to younger employees. As people are living longer and wanting to work longer, and to mark the ADEA’s 50th anniversary, last June, the EEOC held a meeting about the ADEA in which witnesses made suggestions about how regulators and employers can reduce age discrimination and help people work longer. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1642, astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy. In 1675, the first corporation was chartered in the United States. The company was the New York Fishing Company. In 1790, 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 1853, a bronze statue of Andrew Jackson on a horse was unveiled in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. In 1877, Crazy Horse (Tashunca-uitco) and his warriors fought their final battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana. 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 1957, Jackie Robinson announced his retirement from major league baseball in an article that appeared in “LOOK” magazine. In 1958, Bobby Fisher, at the age of 14, won the United States Chess Championship for the first time. In 1973, the trial opened 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. In 1998, Ramzi Yousef was sentenced to life in prison for his role of mastermind behind the World Trade Center bombing in New York.

SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Which period of the day are you most productive at work, and how many hours of sleep do you need to feel rested and productive for the work day?” Most appear to be morning people as 25.6% cited early morning and 23.2% cited mid-morning as the period of the day they are MOST productive at work. The majority of readers (86.4%) reported they need six to eight hours of sleep to feel rested and productive for the work day, while 3.7% selected less than six hours, and 9.9% chose more than eight hours. Among respondents who chose to leave verbatim comments, a few explained why they are most productive at certain times of the day. Quite a few said they were most productive after hours. Several noted that sleep is not the only thing that affects work productivity, with one charming reader noting, “Productivity is all about staying focused on the task at hand. It is these pesky emails with tempting headlines and surveys that ruin my efficiency. :)” Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “We all need to understand that everyone, at least occasionally, goes thru ‘who cares’ moments.” Thanks to all who participated in the survey! Read more >
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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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