Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 1st, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Nearly four in 10 (38%) large U.S. employers with onsite health facilities plan to add new centers over the next two years, according the Towers Watson 2015 Employer-Sponsored Health Care Centers Survey. A majority of the 120 responding employers that already have onsite or near-site health facilities, or are planning to implement them, share these objectives for their centers: increase productivity (75%); reduce health care costs (74%); and improve convenient employee access to health care services (66%).Read more >
Products, Deals & People
John Hancock Makes Move to Levelize Fees
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (JHRPS) is entering into a new strategic, multi-phased development agreement with Vertical Management Systems (VMS) of Pasadena, California. The goal of the strategic partnership is to leverage VMS’s trust accounting and trading systems expertise, applying their solutions and technology to bring participant revenue levelization for a variety of investment vehicles—mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), collective investment trusts (CITs)—as a future option on the John Hancock’s Total Retirement Solutions (TRS) recordkeeping platform.Read more >
Sponsored message from Aberdeen
Frontier Market Bonds: The Next Chapter
Learn why frontier markets strong growth dynamics, coupled with historically low correlations to U.S. Treasuries make a compelling case to diversify your fixed income approach with emerging and frontier market debt.Read more >
GAO Requests
Survey on 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. This survey examines why plan sponsors use certain eligibility and vesting requirements, how they may have changed the requirements, and how they communicate them to employees and participants.Read more >
EBSA Head Lisa Gomez Says DOL Continues Honing Retirement Security Rule
Data and Research
Early Withdrawals Found to Exacerbate 401(k) Account Disparities Across Race, Gender
Final Fiduciary Rule Expected Soon
Survey on 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. This survey 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 >
Economic Events
THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Today, the Census Bureau will report about construction spending for April, and tomorrow it will report about factory orders for April. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the unemployment rate for May.
Market Mirror

Disappointing news about the economy led major U.S. stock indices to end lower Friday. The Dow fell 115.44 points (0.64%) to 18,010.68, the NASDAQ decreased 27.95 points (0.55%) to 5,070.03, and the S&P 500 lost 13.23 points (0.62%) to finish at 2,107.56. The Russell 2000 was down 6.73 points (0.54%) at 1,246.37, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 131.59 points (0.59%) lower at 22,259.70.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with 1.6 declining issues for every advancing issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 4/32, bringing its yield down to 2.122%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 2/32, decreasing its yield to 2.885%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending May 29, the Dow fell 1.21%, the NASDAQ was down 0.38%, and the S&P 500 lost 0.87%. The Russell 2000 decreased 0.47%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 0.85% lower.

Documentation and Deliberation Remain Critical Post-Tibble
Two experienced Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) attorneys suggest the Tibble fee case ruling is a positive for retirement plan sponsors—highlighting important best practices that many have already adopted. “The main impact of Tibble vs. Edison in my view is that it’s a good reminder that plan sponsors need to sharpen their pencils and look once again at the processes they’re using, both for selection and monitoring of investments,” explains Nancy Ross, partner in Mayer Brown’s litigation and dispute resolution practice.Read more >
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) found that Alfred and Judy Chan, the fiduciaries of a pension plan for the employees of their Lakewood, Washington, medical corporation, violated their fiduciary duties to administer the plan prudently and solely on behalf of its participants. The EBSA filed suit against the fiduciaries for using plan assets for personal expenses, as well as other violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).Read more >
DOL Wants More Control Over Plan Audits
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has published its study of the quality of benefit plan audits performed by certified public accountants (CPAs), “Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits.” The agency says the report reveals serious issues with the current system. “The existing patchwork of regulations and rules needs to be overhauled and a meaningful enforcement mechanism needs to be created,” says Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi. “The department is proposing, among other measures, legislation that will fix these problems.”Read more >
Teachers Sue Over Illegal 403(b) Contributions
A Wisconsin appeals court has revived a case brought by retired teachers against their school district and plan vendors for damages incurred as a result of the school district violating 403(b) regulations with respect to post-retirement 403(b) contributions. The retired teachers say they were subject to taxes to which they would not have been if the school district had followed 403(b) regulations.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state of the U.S. In 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state of the U.S. In 1869, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine. In 1961, radio listeners in New York, California, and Illinois were introduced to FM multiplex stereo broadcasting. A year later the FCC made this a standard. In 1967, the Beatles released their album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” In 1968, Helen Keller died in Westport, Connecticut, at the age of 87. In 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world’s first 24-hour television news network, made its debut. In 2008, the Phoenix Mars Lander became the first NASA spacecraft to scoop Martian soil. In 2009, General Motors filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The filing made GM the largest U.S. industrial company to enter bankruptcy protection.
SURVEY SAYS: Summer Reading List 2015
In addition to what they plan/hope to read this summer, last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you ever check out books from the public library?” Forty-nine percent indicated they check out books from the public library often, and 31% said they do occasionally. Asked what books they plan/hope to read this summer, a handful noted they did not have a planned list, many just mentioned book genres—mystery and history were favorites—and quite a few popular authors were mentioned. Repeats in the list included “The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins, and “Go Set a Watchman,” by Harper Lee. Most verbatim comments were touting the benefits of public libraries—many check out audio books and a few use electronic check out services. A few readers commented about their feelings about reading, and one reader noted, “Unless it is in a 140 character or less sound bite, no chance of reading.” Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Love the public library and the feel of holding a book in my hands—just haven’t been able to make the transition to e-books—call me old fashioned.” Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!Read more >
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Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2015.

All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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