Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
July 1st, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Providers Losing Plan Sponsor Trust
Plan providers may be at risk of losing their clients, according to Chatham Partners. Its annual Provider Loyalty Index measures the loyalty of retirement service providers’ clients, placing sponsors on a scale from “loyal” to “favorable” to “at-risk.” Fewer plan sponsors rated their providers’ services highly this year. On a 7-point scale, the percentage of respondents who ranked their provider as a 7 or 6 for “provid[ing] high quality service” fell from 85% to 73%.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
A newly announced merger between Towers Watson and Willis Group carries an implied equity value of approximately $18 billion, while business leaders across the firms hope to achieve $100 to $125 million in cost cuts and new efficiencies. The merger announcement quickly made waves across the investment and financial services press after the companies confirmed the pending deal, under which they “will combine in an all-stock merger of equals transaction.”Read more >
Fidelity Offers Fiduciary Services
Fidelity has launched Third-Party Fiduciary Services, a program to help retirement plan advisers and sponsors with the selection and monitoring of investments. Users have a choice of three support providers through the Fidelity program: Mesirow Financial, Morningstar Associates and Wilshire Associates.Read more >
Sponsored message from MassMutual
Eric Weitsma, SVP of Retirement Services, Sales and Worksite Education with MassMutual discusses Plan Health, Financial Wellness and the Convergence of Benefits with Alison Cooke Mintzer, Editor-in-Chief of PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
Economic Events
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved moderately in May, increased further in June. The Index now stands at 101.4 (1985=100), up from 94.6 in May. The Present Situation Index increased from 107.1 last month to 111.6 in June, while the Expectations Index advanced to 94.6 from 86.2 in May.
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2021 Target-Date Fund Survey
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Market Mirror

Yesterday, the Dow ticked up 23.16 points (0.13%) to 17,619.51, the NASDAQ went up 28.40 points (0.57%) at 4,986.87, and the S&P 500 finished 5.46 points (0.27%) higher at 2,063.10. The Russell 2000 increased 7.19 points (0.58%) to 1,253.95, and the Wilshire 5000 rose 67.43 points (0.31%) to close at 21,841.75.

On the NYSE, 3.3 billion shares traded, with a near 1.5 to 1 lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with 2 advancing issues for every decliner.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 7/32, bringing its yield up to 2.352%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 13/32, increasing its yield to 3.122%.

Compliance
SCOTUS Won’t Hear Reverse Stock Drop Case
Monday marked the end of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014-15 term, revealing the extensive list of cases the top court will hear next term—and those it won’t. Among those that didn’t make the cut is RJR Pension Investment Committee v. Tatum et. al, an important Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) case. The case hinged on what to do when a fiduciary has breached duty of prudence by failing to put in place a prudent process to evaluate an investment decision—in this case, dropping company stock from the plan without thoroughly investigating whether it was prudent to do so. Is it reasonable for the defendant to argue that the result would have been the same even with a prudent process in place and thus avoid liability?Read more >
9th Circuit Confirms Remand of Stock Drop Case
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals denied plaintiffs’ petition for a “rehearing en banc” in Harris vs. Amgen, and filed an amended opinion in the case explaining its reasoning. In so denying a rehearing by the full panel of 9th Circuit judges, a previously revisited appellate decision in the case has essentially been confirmed and finalized, pushing the case back to a district court for additional proceedings.Read more >
Investing
Asset Managers Don’t Trust Performance Data
More than half (53%) of asset managers do not think that the data they receive on their investment performance is completely accurate, a survey by SimCorp found. Eighty percent of asset managers say their portfolio managers do not receive investment performance numbers based on intra-day position calculations, and only 59% say their portfolio managers are able to look through to see the trades, prices, foreign exchange rates and classifications driving performance. Without accurate and timely information, portfolio managers may be making ill-informed trading decisions and be at a competitive disadvantage, SimCorp says.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1847, the U.S. Post Office issued its first adhesive stamps. In 1862, the U.S. Congress established the Bureau of Internal Revenue. In 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg began. In 1874, the Philadelphia Zoological Society zoo opened as the first zoo in the United States. In 1943, the U.S. Government began automatically withholding federal income tax from pay checks. In 1961, the first community air-raid shelter was built. The shelter in Boise, Idaho, had a capacity of 1,000 people and family memberships sold for $100. In 1963, the U.S. postmaster introduced the five-digit ZIP (Zoning Improvement Plan) code. In 1966, the Medicare federal insurance program went into effect. In 1979, Susan B. Anthony was commemorated on a U.S. coin, the Susan B. Anthony dollar. In 1979, the first Sony Walkman went on sale. In 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which oversees the voluntary rating system for movies, introduced a new rating, PG-13. In 1997, Hong Kong reverted back to Chinese rule.

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “Example is leadership.”—Albert Schweitzer, philosopher and theologian

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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