Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
July 9th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Beyond Auto-Enroll: Auto-Escalation and Stretched Match
Plan sponsors that have adopted automatic enrollment may, indeed, like the numbers they see. Joe Ready, director of institutional retirement and trust for Wells Fargo Retirement, is emphatic: “The only way people will have a good retirement outcome is to save their way there.” Utilizing automatic deferral escalation and stretched matching formulas are “the next evolution of how we can help on their savings behavior,” he says.Read more >
More 403(b) Sponsors Contributing to Employee Accounts
Non-profit organizations that sponsor 403(b) retirement plans saw steady increases in participant contributions, leading to higher average account balances, according to the 2015 403(b) Plan Survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA). The seventh annual benchmarking survey of 403(b) plans, sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, also found a significant increase in the number of plans offering an employer contribution—up to 96.6% percent in 2014 from 82.7% in 2013. Nearly one-quarter of 403(b) plan sponsors match employee contributions dollar for dollar up to the first 5% or 6% of salary. “The large jump in plans offering employer contributions is one of the most noteworthy findings in this year’s survey,” says Hattie Greenan, PSCA’s director of research and communications.Read more >
Baby Boomers, those between the ages of 49 and 67, and Generation X, between the ages of 35 and 48, do not appear to view carrying debt as a stigma, according to Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America’s “Generations Apart” survey. The large balances that they are carrying could put their retirement in jeopardy, Allianz says.Read more >
Workplace the Right Place for Financial Education
On March 17, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) convened a group of 20 financial literacy leaders and experts for a forum focusing on financial education in the workplace. Forum participants pointed out that employers already provide information about employee benefits, have key information about employees’ lives, and are generally trusted to provide sound financial information and advice. They suggested information provided by employers should go beyond the current emphasis on retirement and other benefits to include education about budgeting, money management, building emergency savings and understanding the financial impact of health care.Read more >
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Boomers Overly Optimistic About Working in Retirement
Sixty percent of Baby Boomers plan to work during their retirement years, but they are overly optimistic about how much they will be paid, the opportunities that will be available and the flexibility that they will be afforded, according to a survey by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. More than one-quarter (26%) of non-retirees would not accept a pay cut, while only 21% would accept a significant pay cut, the survey found. The reality is that 53% of currently employed retirees say they are working for much less than they were before they retired.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 >
Products, Deals & People
ERISApedia.com’s searchable database now contains a suit of new forms that can be used by plan sponsors and advisers to efficiently manage 401(k) and 403(b) plan responsibilities.Read more >
MainStay Investments, a New York Life Company, has appointed Charles Reinhard managing director, leading portfolio strategy. Reinhard will lead portfolio strategy and thought leadership provided to advisers and investors.Read more >
Market Mirror

A halt to trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) reportedly due to a technical glitch contributed to losses for major U.S. stock indices Wednesday. The Dow lost 261.49 points (1.47%) to finish at 17,515.42, the NASDAQ fell 87.70 points (1.75) to finish at 4,909.76, and the S&P 500 closed 34.65 points (1.66%) lower at 2,046.69. The Russell 2000 shed 19.09 points (1.53%) to finish at 1,228.96, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 365.44 points (1.66%), closing at 21,628.96.                                    

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues nearly 5 to 1. On the NASDAQ, nearly 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 5 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 19/32, bringing its yield down to 2.192%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 9/32, decreasing its yield to 2.976%.

GAO Requests
Survey of 401(k) Plans’ Use of Eligibility and Vesting Requirements: Building savings in a 401(k) plan is a key step to achieving income security in retirement for millions of Americans. That savings may be affected by the eligibility and vesting requirements that are used by many plans. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is asking plan sponsors to participate in its survey examining why plan sponsors use certain eligibility and vesting requirements, how they may have changed the requirements, and how they communicate the rules to employees and participants.Read more >
Survey of Lifetime Income Options 401(k) Plan Sponsors Offer Participants: An increasing American lifespan in an era when the predominant workplace retirement plan no longer guarantees lifetime income calls into question how well 401(k) plans work for the oldest Americans. The GAO is asking plan sponsors to participant in a survey that examines the mechanisms in 401(k) plans that can provide some financial stability to participants until the end of their lives. It asks about the advantages and disadvantages of these options, education about them, and barriers that might limit their adoption.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1850, Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, died suddenly from an attack of cholera morbus. In 1868, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. In 1872, the doughnut cutter was patented by John F. Blondel. In 1877, the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club began its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then an outer-suburb of London. In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Thomas Sanders and Thomas Watson formed the Bell Telephone Company. In 1878, the corncob pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe.  In 1947, in a ceremony held at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, General Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Florence Blanchfield as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, making her the first woman in U.S. history to hold permanent military rank. In 1948, 42-year-old Leroy “Satchel” Paige pitched two innings for the Cleveland Indians in his debut with the newly–and barely–integrated American League. In 1971, the United States turned over complete responsibility of the Demilitarized Zone to South Vietnamese units. In 1985, Joe Namath signed a five-year pact with ABC-TV to provide commentary for “Monday Night Football.” In 1997, Mike Tyson was banned from the boxing ring and fined $3 million for biting the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield. In 2005, skateboarder Danny Way rolled down a large ramp and jumped across the Great Wall of China. He was the first person to clear the wall without motorized aid.
SURVEY SAYS: If you’re like me, you held your breath for a minute as news came out yesterday that the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal reported technology failures simultaneously. In this digital age, nearly everything is dependent on technology. This week, I’d like to know, what do you think would happen in your workplace if a technology failure occurred? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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