Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
July 10th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Companies Looking to Peers for Health Strategies
While employers plan to change their long-term health strategies to evolve with the changing health landscape, there has been little effort over the past year to move in that direction, according to a survey of more than 1,000 companies by Aon Hewitt. Even some of the most prevalent tactics in employers’ health strategies had significantly low adoption rates in 2015. More than three-quarters of health benefit plan sponsors surveyed said the actions of their peers influence their health care strategies.Read more >
Survey Reveals Why 403(b) Plans Need Advisers
Fewer than half (46.7%) of organizations use an independent retirement plan adviser separate from their service provider, according to the 2015 403(b) Plan Survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA). Aaron Friedman, national tax-exempt practice leader at The Principal, which sponsored the survey, tells PLANSPONSOR only 25.8% of 403(b) plans with fewer than 50 participants use an independent adviser. The most common services for which 403(b)s use advisers include investments (73.6%), plan design (64.4%), participant education (60.3%) and provider selection (52.3%).Read more >
Most Employers Will Continue Domestic Partner Benefits
Fifty-seven percent of employers surveyed by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) indicated they offer benefits to same-gender domestic partners, and 45.4% offer it to opposite-gender domestic partners. Nearly 30% that offer same-gender domestic partner benefits say it is unlikely they will continue offering them, and less than 20% that offer opposite-gender domestic partner benefits say it is unlikely they will continue to. The number one reason given for dropping domestic partner benefits was that it was only offered because same-gender domestic partners couldn’t marry, but now they can. However, respondents cited many reasons for continuing to offer domestic partner benefits.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
As part of its strategy to deliver solutions in the expanding defined benefit (DB) pension transfer market, MassMutual has appointed Lynn Esenwine as vice president of its pension buyout business.Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
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2020 Recordkeeping Survey
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
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John Hancock Agrees to Procedural Changes in ERISA Suit Settlement
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2021 Defined Benefit Administration Survey
DST to Acquire Rollover Provider WMSI
DST, a global provider of data management, business processing, and customer communication solutions, has agreed to acquire Wealth Management Systems Inc. (WMSI), a provider of rollover services and financial planning and education solutions to the retirement services industry. On completion of the deal, WMSI’s suite of services and rollover solutions will come to market as part of DST Retirement Solutions, a provider of defined contribution technology, strategic advisory and business processing solutions to the industry.Read more >
The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC) is now a member firm in the Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) network. TRPC, with headquarters in Nashville, is among the largest independent recordkeepers and third-party administrators (TPAs) in the Midwest and Southeast.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

In the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 297,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 279,500, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.04%, down from 4.08% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.20%, down from 3.24%.

Market Mirror

Yesterday, the Dow was up 33.20 points (0.19%) at 17,548.62, the NASDAQ increased 12.64 points (0.26%) to 4,922.40, and the S&P 5000 ticked up 4.63 points (0.23%) to 2,051.31. The Russell 2000 gained 5.19 points (0.42%) to finish at 1,234.15, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 57.71 points (0.27%) higher at 21,686.66.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.4 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.7 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 1 2/32, bringing its yield up to 2.319%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 2 22/32, increasing its yield to 3.116%.

Compliance
Appellate Court Weighs In on Posthumous QDRO
An appeals court has overturned parts of a verdict in a case in which a deceased worker’s retirement plan assets were sought by both his surviving spouse and an ex-spouse. The appeals court determined posthumous “nunc pro tunc orders” filed by the ex-spouse of a retirement plan participant in Connecticut are valid qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs)—and thus have sufficient standing to direct the flow of the deceased man’s retirement plan assets. The ruling overturned an earlier district court decision which determined incorrectly that a divorce settlement agreement between the man and the ex-spouse qualified as a QDRO for all four retirement plans in which the man participated.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1850, Vice President Millard Fillmore was sworn in as the 13th president of the United States. President Zachary Taylor had died the day before. In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state to join the United States. In 1900, ‘His Master’s Voice’, was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. The logo of the Victor Recording Company, and later, RCA Victor, shows the dog, Nipper, looking into the horn of a gramophone machine. In 1913, the highest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. was 134 degrees in Death Valley, California. In 1925, in Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” began with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law. In 1941, Jelly Roll Morton—a native of New Orleans who became the first great jazz pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader—died in Los Angeles, California. In 1962, the United States Patent Office issued the Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin a patent for his three-point automobile safety belt “for use in vehicles, especially road vehicles.” In 1985, Coca-Cola resumed selling the old formula of Coke, it was renamed “Coca-Cola Classic.” It was also announced that they would continue to sell “New” Coke. In 1989, Mel Blanc, the “man of a thousand voices,” died at age 81. He was known for such cartoon characters as Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. In 1997, scientists in London said DNA from a Neanderthal skeleton supported a theory that all humanity descended from an “African Eve” 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. In 1999, the U.S. women’s soccer team defeated China to win their second Women’s World Cup.                                                    

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!  

Your inspiration for the day—from a little boy who just learned to ride a bike.Read more >
This is what happens when you try to kiss a llama.Read more >

In Alliance, Ohio, a 44-year-old woman faces a charge of misuse of 911. She called to say her Chinese food “was not up to par for her liking,” according to Cleveland, Ohio’s local FOX News station. Police responded and arrested her.

In Roseland, Illinois, a man was playing be.er pong at a 4th of July party and pulled out a 9mm semi.auto.matic gu.n in an effort to distract his opponent, according to DNAinfo. The man waved the gun in his opponent’s face to distract him during his turn, and the opponent pushed the man away. That’s when the gun went off, striking the opponent in his finger and another man, who was sitting nearby texting, in his shoulder. The victims drove themselves to the hospital, and the man was arrested at his home the next day.

Over Nashville, Tennessee, this is what fireworks look like from an airplane.Read more >

In Exeter, England, the Exeter Express & Echo received a letter from two disgruntled prisoners at the Exeter Prison. Their complaint: The Sudoku puzzled published in the May 21 edition is “impossible” to complete. The two claim that 84 other prisoners agree with them. Their frustration is exacerbated by the fact they cannot get the solution to the puzzle as they are only allowed to have Thursday’s edition each week.

In Berlin, Germany, a 34-year-old man threw a bike through a restaurant window, entered and drank half a bottle of Tabasco. Police were alerted and found the man still in the restaurant. According to the Associated Press, he told police he broke in because he was thirsty. Yes, he was into.xicated.

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

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