Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 9th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Research Supports Use of Auto Investing Solutions
Research from the Columbia Business School concludes that retirement plan investors may do better to check their portfolios less often and leave investment decisions to others. The research model predicts that given the choice, most people prefer to stay inattentive to their portfolios, and this makes them more willing to choose an investment solution that automatically diversifies and rebalances their portfolios or to pay for a professional portfolio manager.Read more >
Actuaries Grade Retirement Systems, Reform Proposals
The American Academy of Actuaries has released grades for major retirement systems and public policy proposals. The group evaluated how well public and private retirement systems—and proposals to reform them—meet the needs of participants, sponsors and other stakeholders. Of the five systems and proposals that were graded, the academy bestowed its highest marks on retirement legislation proposed last year by former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and a Canadian government pension system.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
New hire R. Evan Inglis is tasked with providing deep technical expertise for Nuveen Asset Management to further develop the firm’s proprietary pension analytics and risk models.Read more >
In an effort to step up its support of retirement plans sold to government entities, MassMutual’s retirement services has added three managing directors: Kelly Bush, Pete Ganey, and Richard Snyder. The three will support sales of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in states, countries and municipalities.Read more >
Economic Events
In the week ending January 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 294,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 298,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 290,500, a decrease of 250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 290,750. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.73%, down from 3.87% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.05%, down from 3.15%.
Social Security Administration Cannot Calculate 2024 COLA if Government Shuts Down
Data and Research
Student Loan Repayments Expected to Derail Employees’ Retirement Savings
Senate Committee Passes Bill Permitting Marijuana Industry Employers to Sponsor Retirement Plans
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices continued their positive momentum Thursday, with the Dow gaining 323.35 points (1.84%) to finish at 17,907.87. The NASDAQ climbed 85.72 points (1.84%) to 4,736.19, and the S&P 500 closed 36.24 points (1.79%) higher at 2,062.14. The Russell 2000 was up 20.16 points (1.71%) at 1,196.13, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 370.72 points (1.74%) to 21, 672.39.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 3.4 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a 2.8 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 14/32, increasing its yield to 2.018%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 14/32, bringing its yield up to 2.597%.

2nd Circuit Agrees with Reformation of Cash Balance Plan
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with a district court’s reformation of CIGNA Corporation’s cash balance pension plan, and decided the court had discretion to reform the plan. The long-running case stems from CIGNA’s conversion from a traditional pension plan to a cash balance plan in 1998. A district court found CIGNA liable for inadequate disclosures relating to the plan and ordered a change in the plan’s provisions.Read more >
DOL Reports 2014 Enforcement Results
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) recovered nearly $600 million for direct payment to employee plans, participants and beneficiaries. In fiscal year 2014, EBSA closed 3,928 civil investigations, with 2,541 of those cases (64.7%) resulting in monetary compensation for plans or other corrective action.Read more >
From the Magazine
The Year in Review
Rules and regulations govern the existence, design and administration of all retirement plans—effectively dictating all that goes into plan oversight. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) publish guidelines for the retirement plan industry. Those rules, coupled with major court decisions, provide the legal and regulatory framework for defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans. With this in mind, we gathered the top 20 such stories from 2014.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1793, Jean-Pierre Blanchard made the first successful balloon flight in the U.S. In 1848, the first commercial bank was established in San Francisco. In 1861, the state of Mississippi seceded from the United States. In 1984, Clara Peller was first seen by TV viewers in the “Where’s the Beef?” commercial campaign for Wendy’s. In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it was pursuing a criminal investigation of Enron Corp. The company had filed for bankruptcy on December 2, 2001. In 2006, Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Have fun with this arctic blast; see what happens when you blow bubbles in extreme cold temperature.Read more >
A fun mother/son dance at a wedding.Read more >

In Seoul, South Korea, health authorities said they are investigating a cosmetic surgery clinic after photographs emerged online apparently showing medical staff partying in an operating room. In one selfie, posted on Instagram, staff in scrubs appeared to stand around a candlelit birthday cake with an apparently unconscious patient lying on a bed behind them, The Guardian reports. Another picture showed a staff member, wearing a mask and a surgery gown, jokingly placing a gel breast implant over her chest in an operating room. Another showed staff posing while eating hamburgers. “Our officials are investigating the clinic to see if there was any violation of medical laws,” said a spokeswoman from the public health department in Seoul’s Gangnam district, according to The Guardian. “They may look into whether such behavior damaged the reputation of medical practitioners.” Under South Korea’s medical law, behavior deemed to tarnish the reputation of the industry can result in suspension.

In Roswell, New Mexico, a man scratched off a lottery ticket that showed he had won $500,000. But, when he went back to the store at which he bought the ticket to show the staff, they said it was a mistake. The ticket shows two scratched off boxes with a “1” that matches a winning number, but there’s a very faint indication that another number was supposed to be printed next to the “1’s”. The New Mexico Lottery said it was a flaw in the ticket and offered him $100 worth of scratch-off tickets instead.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, a man walking on a sidewalk heard moaning coming from the lot of a car dealership, and when he looked for the source of the noise, he saw a couple having relations on top of a vehicle at the dealership. The couple caught him looking and started yelling at him, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The man called police. When police arrived, the couple was sitting in a van in the lot—the van belonged to the dealership, not the couple. While being arrested, the male member of the couple spit on a police officer. Both are charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, trespassing and auto burglary. The male faces an additional charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.

This cat doesn’t understand why he can’t catch these fish. They are soooo close.Read more >

In Chicago, Illinois, a man rode his bike to a police station to report his iPhone stolen. He didn’t have his bike lock with him, so he asked police if he could bring his bicycle inside the station. They agreed, so he rolled it into the station then filled out a police report. When he turned around to leave, his bike was gone. He first thought it was a joke by one of the officers, but it wasn’t, his bike was stolen from the police station.

In Granite City, Illinois, a man set off a courthouse metal detector about 10 years ago, went to the doctor and had an x-ray that found something metal lodged in his arm. At the time, the doctor said to leave it alone since he had no pain and his arm was functioning fine. However, recently the man experienced pain, so he had surgery, during which a surgeon removed a 7-inch long turn signal from a Ford Thunderbird the man had wrecked 51 years ago. The man said he was treated for injuries to the surface of his arm at the time of the wreck.

In Vineland, New Jersey, police spotted a driver running a red light and pulled him over. The man failed a roadside sobriety test and was taken to jail. According to the Associated Press, at the jail the man claimed police shouldn’t charge him because, “It’s New Year’s Eve, everyone drives drunk.”


Have a great weekend everyone!
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 >

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Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2014.

All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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