Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
July 29th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Employees Rely on Benefits for Financial Preparedness
Forty-two percent of employees get most or almost all of their insurance products through the workplace, and 68% rely on their benefits for at least half of their financial preparedness, according to Guardian Life Insurance Company’s Workplace Benefits Study. However, many workers do not take advantage of their workplace benefits due to ineffective communication or education. Employers should focus more effort on explaining benefits to their employees, Guardian says.Read more >
Kim Landry, insurance research analyst at LIMRA, says it’s not surprising that more than eight in 10 employees focus on cost information when selecting their benefits during open enrollment. Seventy-two percent of employees surveyed said they will look at detailed benefit plan descriptions when available. LIMRA asked employees what communications they valued most when selecting their benefits.Read more >
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Lack of Education Biggest Barrier to HSA Adoption
Lack of education (63%) was cited as the biggest barrier to adoption of health savings and reimbursement accounts by respondents to a survey by Acclaris, a health plan service and technology provider. More than half (53%) said employers are responsible for educating consumers about these benefits.Read more >
PLANSPONSOR Research
PLANSPONSOR’s NQDC/457(f) Buyer’s Guide
Nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans can be an important tool—alongside the 401(k) plan—for plan sponsors to retain executives who are interested in saving and want to better prepare for retirement. At best, a 401(k) will provide only 50% of the retirement income a highly compensated executive will need in retirement. An NQDC plan can boost that to 75% or more, says Tina Wilson, senior vice president, product management at MassMutual Retirement Services in Springfield, Massachusetts.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Voya Enhances Website and Enrollment Experience
As a result of enhancements to the company’s suite of digital retirement readiness capabilities, participants in many Voya-administered plans will be able to visualize and understand—as soon as they enroll online in the plan—how their savings decisions translate into future monthly retirement income. In addition, existing participants will benefit from new functionality that lets them factor Social Security and health care costs into their retirement planning decisions.Read more >
Sponsored message from PNC Retirement Solutions
Watch PNC’s Brad Bonno discuss employee retirement education strategies. Get employee education tips from Brad Bonno, Vice President and Director of Employee Education at PNC Retirement Solutions, in his interview with PLANSPONSOR Editor-in-Chief Alison Cooke-Mintzer. Read more >
Economic Events
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in June, declined in July. The Index now stands at 90.9 (1985=100), down from 99.8 in June. The Present Situation Index decreased moderately from 110.3 last month to 107.4 in July, while the Expectations Index declined sharply to 79.9 from 92.8 in June.
Market Mirror

Strong earnings reports by some companies led major U.S. stock indices to finish higher Tuesday. The Dow closed 189.68 points (1.09%) higher at 17,630.27, the NASDAQ increased 49.43 points (0.98%) to 5,089.21, and the S&P 500 climbed 25.61 points (1.24%) to 2,093.25. The Russell 2000 was up 9.99 points (0.82%) at 1,224.60, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 265.98 points (1.22%) to finish at 22,027.65.

 

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 2.6 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a 1.6 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 9/32, increasing its yield to 2.249%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 21/32, bringing its yield up to 2.967%.

Compliance
Speaking at a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) meeting, Timothy Hauser, deputy assistant secretary for program operations at the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), indicated that while the DOL firmly believes the fiduciary rule is necessary, it is open to amending the rule further: “We have identified what we believe are demonstrable injuries that flow from the current compensation structure and the current way advice is delivered to retirement investors. We are committed to doing something to fix that problem, but we are not wedded to any particular choice of words or regulatory text. We have gotten a lot of helpful comments, and there will be changes,” he said.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Can a 403(b) Plan Offer Managed Accounts?
“Can a 403(b) plan offer managed accounts?”Read more >
Small Talk
According to a CareerBuilder survey of more than 1,000 full-time workers in information technology (IT), financial services, sales, and professional and business services, 63% believe “working nine to five” is an outdated concept, and a significant number have a hard time leaving the office mentally. Twenty percent of employees surveyed say work is the last thing they think about before they go to bed, and 42% say it’s the first thing they think about when they wake up.Read more >
ON THIS DATE: In 1874, Major Walter Copton Winfield of England received U.S. patent for the lawn-tennis court. In 1958, the U.S. Congress passed legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America’s activities in space. In 1967, the Doors scored their first No. 1 hit with “Light My Fire.” In 2005, astronomers announced that they had discovered a new planet (Xena), larger than Pluto, in orbit around the sun.
WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “The less routine, the more life.” —Amos Bronson Alcott, teacher and writer
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 alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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