Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 18th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Professor of Economics Proposes Retirement Reform
Mounting evidence suggests that reform of both the current structure and tax-code treatment of retirement accounts could stimulate greater savings for many Americans, a paper suggests. In a new Hamilton Project discussion paper, John N. Friedman, Professor of Economics at Brown University, proposes two related reforms to the current system of retirement savings accounts. The proposals include universal retirement accounts and a change to the treatment of tax incentives.Read more >
It’s not only plan participants that are prone to inertia. Plan sponsors, too, can find it a challenge to step up their retirement plan designs. All the tools plan sponsors need to get people saving already exist, Anne Ackerley, head of the defined contribution group in the U.S. and Canada at BlackRock says, and even fairly simple actions—raising defaults, the use of auto features—can quantify and illustrate for plan sponsors how plan outcomes can be affected.Read more >
No Rush to Self-Insure Health Benefits Yet
Since enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, there has been speculation that the law will result in an increasing number of smaller employers offering self-insured plans. So far (up to 2013, the latest data available), there is no evidence that they are doing so, according to new research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).Read more >
Automatic IRAs Would Help Retirement Crisis
Whether automatic IRAs (individual retirement accounts) could significantly increase retirement readiness and reduce the national retirement savings deficit depends largely on age, the default contribution rate  and the opt-out rate (the percentage of eligible employees who choose not to participate), according to research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The EBRI analysis found that in the best-case participation scenario (assuming no opt outs), the introduction of an auto-IRA for households currently ages 35 to 39 working for small employers would increase the probability of a “successful” retirement by 8.4%.Read more >
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Sponsored message from Principal Financial
Help Employees Get on Track for Retirement
Shouldn’t your retirement plan work FOR retirement savers instead of against them? Learn how retirement ready plan design from the Principal Financial Group could make a difference.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
The Beacon Group of Companies has hired Mark Schatzel as vice president of retirement sales, a role in which he will help business owners and executive staff improve their retirement plans.Read more >
BNY Mellon Investment Management, which has 80% of U.S. pension plans under custody, is making a concerted effort to gain a greater share of the defined contribution (DC) business, says Michael Gordon, head of retirement, insurance and strategic solutions for BNY Mellon. “We have a huge presence in the defined benefit [DB] market,” Gordon says. “We consider this to be a core part of who we are and what we do. We also have a strong legacy of being a good DC player. We have a very talented and professional organization to provide solutions, and we are very much committed to growing this market, and to helping participants as they grow their savings and reach retirement.”Read more >
SSGA Publishes DC Plan Resource for Multi-Nationals
State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the asset management business of State Street Corporation, released “Ten Best Practices for Global DC Plans.” The paper provides insights to help multi-national companies with defined contribution (DC) plans in different countries approach them strategically to attract and retain talent and produce better retirement outcomes for employees.Read more >
The Bogdahn Group announced the addition of Paul Murray to its defined contribution team. Murray brings 25 years of retirement plan experience to his new role as retirement consultant, including his time as a plan consultant for hospitals and higher education organizations in the defined contribution space for 401(k) and 403(b) plans.Read more >
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices are closing higher after the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at historic lows. The Dow gained 31.26 points (0.17%) to finish at 17,935.74, the NASDAQ closed 9.33 points (0.18%) higher at 5,064.88, and the S&P 500 increased 4.05 points (0.19%) to 2,100.34. The Russell 2000 was up 1.22 points (0.10%) at 1,268.31, and the Wilshire 5000 ticked up 38.71 points (0.17%) to 22,238.88.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancing issues. On the NASDAQ, nearly 2.9 billion shares changed hands with a slight lead for declining issues.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 1/32, increasing its yield to 2.316%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 1/32, bringing its yield up to 3.096%.

Compliance
The Financial Planning Coalition has endorsed the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule. The coalition is comprised of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. “Secretary Perez and the Department of Labor have developed a comprehensive, carefully constructed fiduciary rule that will secure critical protections for American retirement savers and preserve financial advisers’ flexibility and adaptability, regardless of business model,” the coalition said in a statement. “This proposal to update a 40-year-old rule is long overdue, especially given significant, historical changes to retirement planning, requiring Americans to be more responsible than ever for making complex retirement saving and financial decisions.”Read more >
PBGC Issues Rule About Multiemployer Plan Partitions
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued an interim final regulation to implement the partition provisions of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. This legislation enables PBGC to expand its efforts to help prevent the insolvency of financially troubled multiemployer pension plans. Under the rule, troubled plans may apply to the agency for financial assistance to fund a portion of their benefit liabilities in order to remain solvent. Bankruptcies need not be imminent to ask PBGC to approve a partition.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1812, the day after the Senate followed the House of Representatives in voting to declare war against Great Britain, President James Madison signed the declaration into law, and the War of 1812 began. In 1923, the first Checker Cab rolled off the line at the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as she completed a flight from Newfoundland to Wales. In 1983, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
SURVEY SAYS: We all know common expressions Moms give—“If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you?” and “Stop making that face or it will freeze like that,” for example. However, Dads have common sayings too. Or, like mine, they have some unique expressions garnered from their infinite wisdom. This week, I’d like you to share your favorite “Dad sayings.” You can choose from the list or submit one of your own. You may reply to this week’s survey by 6:00 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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