Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 21st, 2016
Benefits & Administration
The funded status of public pensions has increased from 73% in 2014 to 74% in 2015, according to a new issue brief from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, “The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2015-2020.” The analysis by Alicia H. Munnell and Jean-Pierre Aubry finds one reason for the improvement is that plan sponsors paid a greater share of their actuarially determined employer contribution (ADEC), even though that contribution has increased as a percentage of payroll.Read more >
Boosting retirement savings through innovation, new technology, and even a dancing pig was the subject of Wednesday’s hearing by the Senate Special Committee on Aging: “Closing the Gap: Innovations to Promote Americans’ Financial Security.” Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, committee chairman and ranking member, respectively, listened to testimony from retirement industry insiders about solutions, both familiar and cutting-edge, aimed at addressing some sobering statistics.Read more >
PSNC 2016: DC Plan Investment Menu Trends
Keeping it simple for participants, paying attention to fees, and considering money market reform are three trends transforming DC plan investment menus.Read more >
Delta Pilots Emergency Savings Program
TIAA Class Action Reversal May Impose Significant Procedural Hurdle for Future Cases
Ask the Experts
How Does SECURE 2.0 Affect The Due Date for SECURE and CARES Act Plan Amendments?
Participants Stuck With the Markets in 2015
A new study from the Investment Company Institute (ICI), “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2015,” shows the stock market fluctuations of the last year have done relatively little to sway the commitment of current 401(k) account owners.Read more >
PSNC 2016: How the ‘Gig’ Economy Affects Benefit Plans
The Millennial generation wants more freedom and flexibility for their careers, and older workers either don’t want to or can’t retire, and desire to stay in the workforce in some way, which is creating more freelance, part-time and independent contractor employees. Speakers at the 2016 PLANSPONSOR National Conference in Washington, D.C. contemplated how this will affect the future of benefits.Read more >
Sponsored message from MassMutual
Shape the future with massmutual@work
massmutual@work helps you shape the future by preparing for it. Our holistic solutions and revolutionary tools help employers and employees unlock the power of all their benefits and achieve financial wellness.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Fidelity Investments announced a series of enhancements to its line-up of index mutual funds, including the launch of three new equity funds, replacing the Spartan brand name, and expanding the availability of institutional share classes.Read more >
Ascensus has partnered with Devenir to offer the Devenir myHSAinvestments solution and private-labeled HSA investment platform to banks and credit unions.Read more >
Retirement Industry People Moves
The Segal Group announces new president and CEO; USI Consulting names vice president and actuary; Merrill Lynch staffs new financial wellness role, and more.Read more >
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices closed higher yesterday as investors grow more optimistic that Britain will remain in the European Union, the Associated Press reports. The Dow climbed 129.71 points (0.73%) to 17,804.87, the NASDAQ gained 36.88 points (0.77%) to finish at 4,837.21, and the S&P 500 increased 12.11 points (0.58%) to 2,083.33. The Russell 2000 closed 13.00 points (1.14%) higher at 1,157.70, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 31.61 points (0.15%) at 21,522.42.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issue more than 3 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 19/32, bringing its yield up to 1.675%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 11/32, increasing its yield to 2.487%.
MassMutual Accepts Settlement Terms in Excessive Fee Suit
According to documents filed with the court on June 15, the parties in excessive-fee case Dennis Gordan et al. v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. et al. have reached a settlement and are awaiting court approval. The motion, filed in District Court for the District of Massachusetts, states that MassMutual has agreed to pay $30.9 million to former and current participants of the MassMutual Thrift Plan and the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. Agent Pension Plan, as well as to meet nonmonetary terms, which, over a period of four years, “secure the prudent operation and administration of the plans.”Read more >
From the Magazine
We have noticed several articles by members of the retirement plan industry that call into question the ongoing viability of variable annuity products within the U.S. retirement system. The concerns raised pertain to the Department of Labor (DOL’s) final regulation on the definition of fiduciary advice, and predict that the new regulation will simply make variable annuities too difficult to sell.Read more >
Net new investment to long-term mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) totaled $2.9 billion in May, lifting year-to-date net deposits to $72 billion, according to Strategic Insight, an Asset International company. Monthly net redemptions from U.S. Equity totaled $10.7 billion, as outflow pressures from active large-cap and growth oriented strategies continued.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1788, the U.S. Constitution went into effect when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it. In 1834, Cyrus McCormick patented the first practical mechanical reaper for farming. His invention allowed farmers to more than double their crop size. In 1893, the Ferris Wheel was introduced at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In 1939, Lou Gehrig quit baseball due to illness. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards. In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that pregnant teachers could no longer be forced to take long leaves of absence. In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Many people use the Mason-Dixon line between Pennsylvania and Maryland to determine who they consider Northerners and Southerners. Why was the Mason-Dixon line drawn?Read more >
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along—and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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